What do big banks and art have in common? They’re both too big to fail. They both need bailouts, or as the financial community likes to call them, liquidity injections.
The difference is, in the arts they’re known as grants. Even if an artist is lucky enough to get one of the biggest ones there are, it’s just enough for survival (average annual wage of a Canadian artist: $23,500), but not enough to breed public confidence in the art bubble. Whatever word you use, artists do with their stimulus money what the banks don’t: they spend it, usually locally and often immediately.