Denmark’s former culture minister Uffe Elbaek wants to disclose all the names of artists who applied for government grants, whether they were awarded funding or not. The Art Newspaper reports that Elbaek, who left his post on December 5 after allegations of nepotism, stated that the regulation would be “to create as much transparency as possible” to assure the public that there’s no “cronyism” going on with the government arts funding.
The names are actually already available, but only by request, and this measure would make them much more readily available. Naturally, artists are worried about how they might be perceived for their failure to get government support.
“Openness is good, but one has to ask in regards to what? The art projects we support are open and publicly accessible as exhibitions, performances, catalogues, etc.,” chairman of the Danish Arts Council, Rune Gade, tells TAN. “Also, all financial support is disclosed at www.kunst.dk. Therefore, we already have openness. Asking for openness in regards to projects that don’t receive grants will mean disclosing a hidden political distrust in that institution — an institution that is supposed to work at an arm’s length distance [to ensure that it] executes its task in a correct manner. It would result in a deeply problematic stigma for artists and projects that do not receive funding. It also may prevent people from applying.”
— Allison Meier
(Image: Uffe Elbaek, via Kopenhagen News)