Logo Creation and Corporate Arts Funders
newmusicbox October 22, 2007

It is unfortunate, Jennifer, that you can’t recall which board asked its members to read Naomi Klein’s “No Logo.” I noticed, for example, that one of the Board Members at Meet the Composer is Joseph Walker, a senior advisor for General Motors. Klein’s book is a devastating attack on corporate America , so why would MTC suggest he read such a book? The website of the American Composers Forum is down at the moment, but I noticed earlier that there were many large corporations among their funders. Ironically, they were all listed on the website along with their corporate “logos.” What would those funders think if the ACF were asking Board members to read “No Logo”? Perhaps you can see why your comment is so interesting.

Klein notes that corporations often consider the power of their logo more important than the quality of their products. Michael Jordan's 1992 salary for endorsing Nike products, for instance, was more than for the entire 30,000-strong Indonesian workforce employed making them. For documentation see this BBC review of the book:


How does our culture’s orientation toward logos affect new music? Does it create an imbalance by moving too much activity toward a small group of known “name-brand” composers? Do they often receive more commissions than they can complete with a high standard, while lesser-known composers with work just as good or better might be neglected? Does this corporate orientation create a bias toward centralized national forms of funding that neglects the local nature of culture? If these problems exist, how could they be solved?

William Osborne

Monday, October 22, 2007, 10:11:27 AM