The Bilbao Effect and why the National Endowment for the Arts is so important
We think today of Bilbao as a modern cosmopolite city full of art, artists and new proposals where the traditions mingled smoothly with the avant-garde. We are so proud of our Guggi, but we love our Bellas Artes Museum too!
During the past 20 years, Bilbao has experimented a spectacular transformation from an industrial grey city to a modern cosmopolite one, where the cornerstone has been precisely a Museum. I still remember the days when huge cargo boats downloaded the goods containers just at the same spot where Guggenheim Museum is today.
Art has been the spark to begin this wonderful change and many people are coming to us to know why. When they arrive here they discover our great gastronomy as well, what else!
But all this has not been by chance. Institutions have put a high bet and a great investment on it.
Now, we are sorry to hear about the recent efforts to eliminate funding for the National Endowment for the Arts in the US, that would have disastrous consequences for the arts and for the communities across the nation. Funding for the arts is quite simply the lifeblood of our culture!
In this spirit, Thomas P. Campbell, director of The Met, has written an op-ed for New York Times that we would like to share.