1. Quoting: Ben Donenberg in the LA Times
I recently sent an article to a local philanthropic leader about the importance of helping arts organizations during the recession. I thought he might draw inspiration from it, but that was too optimistic.
“I don’t need inspiration,” he quickly responded. “We aren’t supporting the arts; we’re supporting essentials.”
I know times are tough and charities have a lot of demands. But I would argue that the arts are essential — and they are under threat.
read the rest of article & take the poll
These questions have been on my mind for a while now, but the article gives me an excuse to posit them again:
1. Why is the arts "essential"?
2. How do we get the arts disentangled from HHS, Environment, and other Social Justice goods, so that we don't have to compete against them for the same funding/grantors?
2. Quoting the poll in that LA Times article:
How important is saving the arts?
Very important to creating well-rounded adults.
Somewhat important, but not as important as math and science.
Not important, we should be focusing on math and technology before our students fall further behind.
This poll was as shocking to me as the response from the philanthropic leader in the article.
First of all - why is the arts being pitted against math & science? They are all three absolutely vital to education and society.
As someone who came to the arts through a rigorous early education in math and science, it consistently amazes me that others have not understood how intertwined the three really are. The basic creativity and problem solving skills required for all three disciplines are the same. The way they operate in our brain, according to neuroscientists, is the same. The progressive improvements to society that all three engender is equally the same.
If we want to have smarter math students, smarter scientists and smarter artists, they must all be learning and working together in conjunction and be supported equally in our society.