People that work in the Arts often observe the role of the Arts in our society is constantly being questioned. It seems to crop up, mainly when the conversation turns to funding the arts. Some folks argue that the Arts are not necessary or justified. Others believe that the Arts are so important to society that they should be wholly integrated into education, community, and our own lives. I fall into the second camp, that the Arts matter and here's a brilliant summary why.
According to John Tusa (chairman of Britain's Advisory Committee to the Government Art Collection, a trustee of the National Portrait Gallery, a trustee of the Design Museum, and a Board Member of English National Opera.)
"The arts matter, because they are universal and non-material; because they deal with daily experience in a transforming way; because they question the way we look at the world, and offer different explanations of that world . . . A nation without arts would be a nation that had stopped talking to itself, stopped dreaming, and had lost interest in the past and lacked curiosity about the future."
Photo taken by Gutierrez Photography
From a more pragmatic view, "The arts matter because they are local and relevant to the needs and wishes of local people. They help citizens express their needs and clothe them in memorable forms. They offer a way of expressing ideas and wishes that ordinary politics do not allow. The arts regenerate the rundown and rehabilitate the neglected. They lift the spirits, create symbols that people identify with, and give identity to places that may not have one. Where the arts start, jobs follow. Anywhere that neglects the arts short-changes its people."
Beyond the big-picture importance of Art within a culture, Art on a smaller level makes life more rich, joyful, and manageable. Look around you to see the beauty that Art brings to your daily life! Your wallet or purse, I-phone, the clothes you are wearing, the carpet on the floor, the sunglasses you wear, the car you drive, the video games you play, the greeting cards you purchase all of these have their basis in creative expression, design, and Art. If you took the design element out of all of that, all you have are base utilitarian objects which get the job done but add nothing to our lives in the way of beauty and meaning. Art gifts us with those things enhancing our existence.
ADT Alumna Morgan Cruz taken by Gutierrez Photography
Alaska understands that to thrive and not just survive the harsh winter, Art is necessary to elevate our lives. For a state with the most minuscule population per capita in the entire country, Alaska boasts 108 performing Arts organizations, 160 museums, and countless art galleries.
Creating Art, enjoying Art, owning Art all give meaning and beauty and inform our lives by shaping our environments and giving voice to the creative principle that makes our human experience worthwhile.
A popular bumper sticker asserts that "Earth" without "art" is just "Eh," a desolate and meaningless place. We can do better than that - we must! Art is the key.
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Alaska Dance Theatre is a non-profit organization dedicated to providing the highest caliber of artistic education for dance and theatre arts for all ages in the state of Alaska.