Michael Kaiser on “The Remarkable Barney Simon”

Michael Kaiser on “The Remarkable Barney Simon”

September 1, 2009

I worked with Barney to save his Market Theatre, which, of course, had never received a government subsidy during the era of apartheid and was entirely reliant on private donations, an oddity in South Africa. With the end of apartheid, most gifts that were required of foreign corporations doing business in South Africa were canceled, putting the Market at risk.

While I was Barney’s consultant, he taught me far more than I taught him. He taught me that I had a responsibility to use the arts for the good of people, not for self-aggrandizement. He taught me that the arts are a powerful weapon of change, and that we have an obligation to use this weapon wisely. He taught me that I had to widen my perspective on arts and take more artistic risk.

. . . It is not an overstatement to say that Barney Simon played a major role in the ending of apartheid. — Michael Kaiser, Huffington Post

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