Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Surrounded by Art

There are several problems in our world. You know that. There are too many big problems for anyone to deal with, all at once anyway. There is hunger, war, poverty, abortion, HIV-AIDS and way more than that. All of these issues can be overwhelming if we let them overwhelm us. There are a few things that we can do something about, however. There are some issues that we can make a stand on and make a difference.

One such issue has to do with the arts. Our world, our culture, is seriously in trouble. The arts, particularly in schools, have been relegated to an under-funded, under-appreciated ghetto. As a society we have decided that we do not care about great music, great dance, great literature or great painting. Great theatre has been replaced with reality television.

The front line in this battle has been in our public schools. Arts funding in education has been cut over and over again. Local communities are opting to support the football team financially, but not the band. This is a very bad sign. (This is not limited to local schools, however. Cities all across America are 'investing' millions of dollars in stadiums hoping that will mean more money for their baseball teams and their communities. Meanwhile, the arts community struggles.)

People all across our nation need to begin to speak out, not against sports-related investment, but in favor of arts investment, beginning in our local schools.
  • We need to protect our music, drama and fine arts programs.
  • Every student should be taking an arts appreciation course at every level of school.
  • Every person, adult and child, should be surrounding themselves with great art.
  • We need to be advocating for the arts in a public setting as patrons, participants and artists.
  • We should all be practicing art at every opportunity.
  • We should be producing art whenever we can.
  • We should be enjoying art in all its forms and settings.

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