The Value of Art
A recent study by the Connecticut Commission on Culture and Tourism persuasively argues not only for the value of the arts to the health of our society, but for its necessity as a fundamental part of everyday life. It is a great report, but it amazes me that we are still producing reports on these issues as if the debate is a new one. No city can survive without culture. No country would even dare call itself a country if it couldn't link its culture to its history. Every aspect of what we do and of how we live is intertwined with the cultural actitvities we pursue. No small town in Canada or the United States is without its craftspeople. Most of the environments that we inhabit either reference culture or express some form of cultural activity. The fork and knife that you use to eat with were designed by creative people. The buildings we inhabit are the product of centuries of thinking about the built environment. Unless we start connecting the dots here, we will continue to think of culture as something that is done by others, by artists and designers, as opposed to a process that we all engage in to varying degrees. Artists create the windows through which we can view and engage with our own world and the worlds of others.
An item from my extensive collection of newspapers from 1968