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Juilliard: Takers, Not Makers?

As a member of the Juilliard community [the writer’s late wife was Marion Raether Dears (Diploma ’49, voice)], I was appalled at the one-sided commentary about the presidential election that appeared in the November 2012 Juilliard Journal. Opinions are great, but they should be based on facts.


From the comments appearing in The Journal, it seems the student body is comprised of “takers.” I can only wonder how many of them will become “makers.”

Wealth creation is the ultimate way to improve society, and it’s the only way for the arts to remain viable since they depend on financial support from art lovers and, unfortunately, handouts from the government. A wealthy society will have the wherewithal to fund the arts. Government doesn’t create wealth. Individuals create wealth, and the free-market system has proven itself to be the best system for individuals to succeed as wealth creators.

Too many of the election comments published in The Journal seemed to ignore this fact—and it is a fact when one considers all the other possible systems, including socialism. Greece is the current poster child for socialism.

Juilliard is developing artists who will be creators and performers within their profession. It’s my contention that students need to remember that only a wealthy society can support the arts—and that Juilliard should also convey this message to its students.

Donn Dears
Geneva Ill.
Author and retired executive

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