Tuesday, August 04, 2015


How does Art rank in The United States of America?  At what value do we hold Art in this country?   What value does Art have in the world of commerce and consumerism? Is Art a frivolous endeavor?  Is Art necessary in our educational system?  
What are The Arts anyway? Isn't Art just a collection of valuable paintings and old music and dance?  Isn't Art just playing around, dreaming your life away? Why would we promote much less provide for Art in our country, or our lives? 
Art is but the outward expression of the individual, Liberty means the right to express yourself freely and without fear of repression. Art can not  flourish when there is no freedom.  Art is part of the American dream, but we Patriots have forgotten the real freedoms this country was founded on.  Hardliners want to tout the idea that the country was founded on Christianity.  It was not.  America was founded on "freedom of religion".  Freedom is the key word in that phrase and as Americans we have many more Freedoms that are specifically outlined in the bill of rights.  The reason people came to America was the Liberty to be Free.  Why, as a nation, do we not stand on the principal of Art?
Art is the expression of dreamers. Dreamers show what the world is like in the abstract realm of imagination.  Art is the physical expression of this abstract imagination. Nothing happens unless it is first imagined. Albert Einstein said," Imagination is more important than knowledge."  It is easier to find labor that can execute an idea of imagination than to come up with an original one.  Construction may be the cheapest and easiest part of the process. 
Americans "out source" labor to make a product, but just because the Apple Watch is made in China... the idea is American.  We will always be able to find cheap ways to make something. How to do something is easier than knowing why we do it.  The world is waiting for dreamers, imagineers and artists to tell us what to make.    WHAT do labors manufacture but the ideas, designs, and dreams of the Artist?  America prides itself on being the source of creative, useful and profitable ideas. But where do these ideas come from if we do not encourage Americans to dream.  If we do not awaken the artist inside of everyone we are doomed to only be labors.
The first things to be cut from a lean educational budget are the Arts.  The theory is: "Art is not real education." When cutting back on the funds to educate, what is unnecessary?  Band, Art class, Drama class, Choral groups are all taken away before other classes that are deemed essential.  I would say, Art in the educational system provides the reason to study the rest of the essentials.   
What good is knowing anything, if you are not encouraged to use that knowledge as a tool to dream about something better?
Looking around at the world you see dictatorial regimes controlling the people by controlling their education. Educated people ask "why". The Taliban does not teach Art. Art is not valued because it allows the people to dream.  Isis has been responsible for destroying artifacts, architecture, antiquities and art from thousands of years ago when they conquer a region. If you can destroy appreciation for Art you can control the destiny of the people. 
America sends soldiers to fight and die to protect the idea of Freedom and Liberty.  But Freedom and Liberty are fundamental to Art. If we are not fighting to keep the Freedom of Liberty and Art in our own country, what are we dying to protect?  In the simplest of terms Art IS the American dream.  
As a country we are loosing the educational battle on the basics.  How much more inadequate are we at educating Americans to dream since Art education is the first to go? 
When Americans can be more proud of the imagination it produces than the weapons it manufactures we will have something to protect. It will truly be a country "with Freedom and Justice for all" when we realize our greatest weapon is the imagination of our Art... or the art of our imagination.
So, support the Arts, even if it is nothing more than getting that saxophone out of the closet and playing it again.  Change the world one artist at a time.  
As you were,

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