Why the Arts Matter More Than Ever
In these troubling times that we live in, I wonder if this is merely a consequence of the diminishing role of the Arts and the artist in our society. The Arts, whether it be live theatre, music, movies, writing or illustration is a reflection of the moral fabric and priorities of our society, a reminder of who we are, what we were and all that we can be. The Arts challenge our assumptions, make us uncomfortable, expand our passions, and inspire us to act. The Arts represent all that is good in us, our better angels, and all that is ugly, our darkest demons. How many us have seen a play or movie, read a particular book, visited an art gallery or museum and left knowing our life's ambition and purpose? And perhaps, most importantly today, the Arts bring us together, showcase our differences and celebrate our common humanity. For that fleeting moment, as curtains rise or pages turn or we stare at that work of art, we are transported to the past or catapulted into a future where an unknown someone has been given a voice and an audience willing to listen. The Arts gives us a chance to truly understand someone else, to join with them on a journey we otherwise could never partake.
And as we read too often of venues locking their doors, live community theatre groups disbanding, school funding for art programs being cut, only blockbuster films or bestselling authors finding space on the retail store's shelves, have we become a people afraid to look up at one another, lost in 30 second meaningless sound bits or videos seeking only to be entertained and not inspired, obsessed with laughing or justifying the suffering of others? Has our society and culture lost a piece of that spark of creativity that calls us all to reach higher for loftier aims and dreams, exchanging it instead for that empty feeling of anger in order to prove our point? All the politicians and self help gurus in the world will never take the place of the Arts in transforming our world,
To my friends involved in the Arts, now is your time. Your time to challenge us, inspire us, to summon our better nature. Push the boundaries, question our norms, open our eyes, offend us if needed, but never shrink away from us. Be a little crazy, outside of the main, on a path not quite taken. Give us a voice and conscience Strive to change our world as only you can. God bless the artist. Support the Arts.