NEA studies: Is art a gift or commodity?

“…a work of art is a gift, not a commodity. Or, to state the modern case with more precision, that works of art exist simultaneously in two ‘economies,’ a market economy and a gift economy. Only one of these is essential, however: a work of art can survive without the market, but where there is no gift there is no art.”   poet Lewis Hyde, The Gift

The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) started something on its Facebook page last summer, with an inaugural  essay by writer and visual artist Makoto Fujimura. Here are 2 quotes: 

“Artistic intuition and resourcefulness is needed not just for the entertainment value, but instead as a fundamental base for the long-term vitality of our culture, providing creative solutions to problems we face, providing a framework for innovation, and raising awareness of democratic ideals.”
“…the reason why we fund the arts is a leadership issue, to unleash the enormous creativity that this country offers, to offer empathetic leadership toward an integrated society.”

Prior to this, the NEA released 2 studies: