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ARTS AREN'T ELITIST; THEY ENRICH US ALL

This is in response to the May 18 letter regarding the so-called "elitist" status of concert- and theater-goers.

Shame on the writer for making so many erroneous assumptions. Specifically, whoever restricted attendance of Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra concerts to the "few rich and super-rich"? If the writer would unbiasedly survey the mix of concert-goers, I'm sure he would come to the conclusion that it is available, and attended by people of all economic levels in our community. Perhaps a comparison of the price of a concert ticket to that of a Buffalo Bills football game would be sufficient evidence that it is indeed within the reach of those who desire this type of entertainment.

One of the blessings of our society is that we are free to choose which entertainment events to attend. Thankfully, we have available in this community a vast spectrum of such events from which to choose. I may not desire to attend a certain type of event, but I would not cast unfounded criticisms on attire, etc.

Where is it written that one must wear "evening clothes" to attend and enjoy a live Philharmonic concert? If the writer had attended the marvelous closing concert in Kleinhans Music Hall he would have surely noticed the young man wearing a T-shirt sitting comfortably next to others. I'm sure that young man enjoyed the concert to the fullest and was quite unaware that it was only for the rich and super-rich. I, for one, would be upset if a "dress code" were a requirement for attendance to a concert.

The writer's assumption that a concert is an "ostentatious activity" is way out in left field. I suppose each concert- or theater-goer has a specific reason for attending these events. Let's assume it is for the reasons of helping to support the performing arts in our community, enjoying cultural events which our society offers, helping to perpetuate some of the finest contributions made to mankind, and socializing with people of similar likes.

I agree that it is shameful that some citizens in this country are destitute and wish it could be corrected at once. That is a sociological problem for our society and government to solve. If one looks at the list of contributors to the Philharmonic, I'm sure you will find they are quite philanthropic in other areas as well.

It seems the arts are always mentioned first, when local budget cuts are being considered. Let's not confuse the issue. To deny public tax dollars to cultural events would surely then make them only available to a very few. That would solve nothing.

MORTON I. ABRAMSON
Williamsville

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