The Times - UK (2020-10-14)

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the times | Wednesday October 14 2020 2GM 3


The crown jewels of British culture

could be saved, a leading philanthropist

has said, if only volunteering were

introduced in schools and people

stopped blaming the taxman.

John Studzinski, 64, said that the

habit of giving “time and treasure”

should be instilled in pupils as he

announced a rescue package for the

cultural sector’s freelance workers.

Mr Studzinski, a financier with joint

British and US citizenship, praised the

UK’s official scheme to encourage

donations but highlighted differences

with America in the proportion given.

“There is Gift Aid and the UK

scheme is actually pretty generous,” he

told The Times. “I don’t think we can

keep attacking the Inland Revenue on

this. Young people should be taught

volunteering in school to inculcate it as

part of the culture. When you look at

the data about 0.75 per cent of GDP

goes to charity versus about 2 per cent

in the United States.”

Mr Studzinski, whose Genesis Foun-

dation before this year had given more

than £20 million to arts organisations

and supported thousands of artists, said

that he was hopeful Britain was “enter-

ing an age” when affluent people would

give generously.

He was speaking as he launched his

latest initiative, a £1 million Kickstarter

Fund to support freelancers in the crea-

tive sector. Cultural leaders have

spoken of the difficulties in persuading

the younger generation of “tech billion-

aires”, for example, to donate to artistic

causes in the past decade when the state

has cut its subsidy.

A study by the Beacon Collaborative

Group, which brings together philan-

thropists and organisations, found that

out of 18,000 “ultra high net worth”

people in Britain with assets of more

than £10 million, only 10 per cent gave

to charities. The UK is frequently com-

pared with America, where state fund-

ing of the arts is minimal and whose

cultural organisations rely on philan-

thropic support.

In Britain the Gift Aid scheme allows

higher-rate taxpayers to deduct 25 per

cent of charitable donations from their

taxable income. Taxes are also waived

on land, property or shares donated to

charity. A donation left in a will can be

taken off the value of an estate before

inheritance tax is calculated and if 10

per cent or more of an estate is left to

charity, the tax rate will be reduced.

In the US, people can deduct up to 60
per cent of charitable donations from
their taxable income and corporations
can deduct 25 per cent. Various trusts
can also be created including one that
allows philanthropists to receive an
immediate tax deduction even before
donating the funds. Any money
bequeathed to charities is taken off tax
liabilities on a dollar-for-dollar basis.
Mr Studzinski, who divides his time
between London and New York, said
that the British needed a deeper under-
standing of philanthropy. “It is this no-
tion of nurturing,” he said. “We have to
teach volunteerism. Philanthropy is not
just about giving money, the treasure,
but it is about giving time, giving talent,
sharing ties, your network, and now it is

about sharing your tech acumen.” He
said that the Genesis Kickstarter Fund
would enable freelancers in the creative
sector to continue working. While they
accounted for about half the perform-
ing arts workforce, few had received
government support during the pan-
demic, he added.
Mr Studzinski, a vice-chairman and a
managing director of Pimco, the global
investment firm, said that the country
could not “afford to risk losing a whole
generation of outstanding creative
talent through lack of opportunity”.
The fund would provide opportuni-
ties to work on “exciting projects run in
collaboration with respected arts
organisations”. He described culture as
“a real bedrock in this country... prob-

It was 1964 when Pete Townshend

smashed his first guitar on stage, estab-

lishing the Who’s reputation as rebels of

rock‘n’roll who would rather die than

grow old.

Now that he has grown old, Town-

shend’s bandmate Roger Daltrey has

described how their destructive image

during gigs gave way to careful gluing

afterwards as Townshend was forced to

repair his instruments rather than bear

the cost of buying new ones.

Daltrey, 75, said that Townshend dis-

covered that if he wielded the guitar

carefully it could be pieced together.

Daltrey told the How to Wow podcast

ably contributing £125 billion”. He said:
“It is a strategic industry for the UK
and, like research and development, is
an area in which we punch well above
our weight.”
Mr Studzinski, a leading contributor
to the Tate Modern in London and its
extension, the Blavatnik Building,
added: “We don’t necessarily ask for
enough money domestically and
internationally. Big blocks of
money that we raised for Tate
came from non-UK sources.
“We take things like theatre
and the spoken word, in terms of
the English language, for granted.
But they are the foundation for not
just British and European culture,
but global culture.”

John Studzinski, in New York with fellow philanthropists Diandra Douglas and Kathi Koll, praised Britain’s Gift Aid scheme

Townshend smashed guitars carefully so he could repair them

that their early gigs made so little money
that they were in debt until the 1970s.
He said that Townshend, 75, had
created a rod for their backs during a
1964 gig in Wealdstone, northwest
London, because fans began to expect a
smashed guitar at every gig.
“It was costly in glue because as fast
as we were smashing it — we had four
sets of gear — it then got glued and by
the time we got to smash it again the
glue had set,” Daltrey said.
“They weren’t prop guitars, they
were real guitars, but we worked out
very cleverly, very rarely did the neck
break, as long as the neck didn’t break
you could glue the body back.
“Even with holes in it, it didn’t matter,

as long as the distance between the
bridge and the nut of the guitar [where
the strings are supported] was the same
you could make it work.
“But it did get expensive and of
course everybody thought, oh these
successful rock bands are making mil-
lions, we were millions in debt in today’s
money. We just worked and didn’t
really make any money until about 1977.
“I remember we came off tour in 1970,
we had done a huge tour, and we’d de-
creased our debt. We had cut our debt by
three quarters but it was still £655,000. It
was like being on a chain gang.”
The pressure eased with the royalties
from their 1969 album Tommy and the
film of the same name in 1975.

“We always had enough money to eat.
On paper we were way in debt but the
management used to feed us enough
money to get by.”
Daltrey maintained an image of
wealth by driving an Aston Martin DB5,
the car first used by James Bond in
“But it was a really old second-hand,”
he said. “In those days you could pick
them up for nothing, and I understand
why because it was an absolute piece of
crap. I can see why they see the value in
them because there is no capital gains
when you sell them. But [it was] the
worst truck I have ever driven, and they
are not even really that fast and the
engine is nothing but trouble.”

Jack Malvern

Teach Britain to give, arts patron urges

Generous benefactors

Jonathan Ruffer The financier, who
is 69, gave more than £300 million
to charity in 2018 alone as he
funded the Auckland Project based
in Co Durham, which is refurbishing
Auckland castle and creating several
art projects.

Michael Moritz The venture
capitalist, who is 66, and his wife,
Harriet Heyman, have given Oxford
University tens of millions of pounds
to fund bursaries for less well-off
students. The couple’s Crankstart
Foundation also started supporting
the Booker prize last year.

Sainsbury family Gave £170 million
through various foundations,
according to The Sunday Times Rich
List published in May, during the
previous 12 months. The trusts
concentrate on arts, education and
humanitarian projects.

Dame Janet de Botton The art
collector and granddaughter of Sir
Isaac Wolfson, who founded Great
Universal Stores, is the chairwoman
of the Wolfson Foundation. Dame
Janet, 68, who once gave the Tate
gallery more than 60 contemporary
artworks, gave about £65 million to
charitable causes last year.

Dame Vivien Duffield A staunch
supporter of the arts for decades,
the 74-year-old benefactor’s Clore
Duffield Foundation last month
provided further financial support
for Clore Learning Centres, which
have been set up within museums
and theatres across the country.

J K Rowling The creator of the
Harry Potter series of novels has
donated more than £25 million to
help to research neurological
conditions. Rowling, 55,
left, helped to establish
the Anne Rowling
Neurology Clinic at
the University of
Edinburgh — which is
named after her
mother —
£10 million
a decade
ago and
last year
gave a
£15 million
to create


Philanthropist behind a

cultural rescue package

wants volunteering to

be part of school life,

writes David Sanderson

Pete Townshend and the Who gained
a reputation for destroying their kit
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