Establishing universal health care in this country (the right thing to do anyway) would do more for art and artists of all stripes than $50 million dollars of government "support" ever could. If you don't believe me, take note of the frequency of benefit concerts for uninsured or underinsured musicians who have run up staggering medical bills. As it stands right now, any discussion of the practicality of freelancing starts and ends with health care.
I have spoken unfavorably many times of the unwieldiness of a term as broad as "The Arts," and yet if our aspiration is truly to do something that benefits art and artists across the board, then we have to identify concerns which are shared across disciplines and media. I can think of no more glaring commonality among artists of all kinds than that there are precious few full-time jobs with benefits available that allow them to focus solely on their art.
For whatever reason, talk of supporting The Arts tends to revolve around organizations rather than individual artists. Perhaps it's related to the notion of doing of what's best for the many rather than the few. But sheer numbers aside, it's hardly worth remarking upon the unfortunate condition of "institutions" per se, so pervasive and devastating are their effluents. The idea that the individual artist might avoid being burdened with extra-artistic grunt work undertaken simply because they have no other source of income or benefits is more attractive on the surface. If that is, in fact, the goal, then universal health care is a must, and until it is achieved, everything else is merely nibbling around the edges.