Wednesday, November 11, 2009

State of Affairs

I was recently on a state-wide conference call listening to Ra Joy, Director of Arts Alliance Illinois, Terry Scrogum, Director Illinois Arts Council, and State Representative Harry Osterman discuss the dismal situation that state arts funding finds itself in. The state is in a precarious position with not enough money in the coffers to fund all of the services and projects that the legislators and the citizens want to see funded. In times like these the arts are often categorized as unessential and something that can be idled while the rest of the machine is gassed up.

I was in a public school two weeks ago judging an art competition and was told that the elementary children there receive art and music instruction once a week. The teachers were happy of that fact while I wondered where is drama and dance and is setting time aside for two hours a week all the commitment we have to the creative education of our children.
It is important to remember that it was creativity as well as academic intelligence that built skyscrapers in Chicago, put men on the moon, and put a PC on every desk.

If we think that art has a place in our schools and in our society we must tell our elected officials.

be well

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