Art has played a big role in our lives. When you get to read history of different nations, you realise that art has touched the lives of so many people. Sometimes art has been used as an expression of love, dissent and to express freedom of expression. Moreover, it has had huge role to play during struggle for independence for various nations. It's not difficult to realise that It has not only made our history richer but also more interesting to know about.
According to the prompt, nations should suspend government funding for the arts when significant numbers of their their citizens are hungry or unemployed. I don't completely agree with this statement for the following reasons.
To begin with, art and heritage can contribute a lot towards government earnings. This earning can then be used to support people during situations like these when significant numbers of citizens are unemployed or hungry. Consider different heritage and monuments for example. It definitely pays to maintain them as a site of attraction.
Moreover, rich people can spend a lot of money in luxuries. Promoting art can help govt earn more money and taxes from wealthy people which again can help sustain lives of people who aren't doing very well. It's not only the wealthy citizens but also tourists, especially from developed nations with better economy, who can contribute a lot more due to higher purchasing power
Of course, some will will argue that's it's better to use money on solving problems of people directly. But people need to realise that government don't have endless amount money. They need to consistently generate money to be able to help the fellow citizens, and art have had a big role in doing so. Surely, there is need to find the right balance. Of course if funding on certain art forms and heritage is not generating enough revenue for the govt, then during the situation of crisis it makes sense to cut back on their spendings. But cutting off the funding on art completely isn't the right way to go in most cases.