Saturday, February 07, 2009

The arts matter

I want to steer you over to an opinion piece by Robin Bronk at The Huffington Post called "Stimulate the Arts and Keep America Strong". Here's part of what she says:

The version of the [stimulus] bill passed by the House of Representatives contains $50 million in funding for the National Endowment for the Arts, which provides critical support for America's not-for-profit arts institutions. This provision has been attacked as "pork" by some, while the Senate bill currently provides nothing for the NEA. To make matters worse, this week Senators stripped out a provision intended to provide the same job creating benefits for the film industry as the bill provides for other industries.

Why is it so hard for some to realize that jobs in the arts support millions of Americans and are no less worthy than any other job that puts food on the table? Economic studies indicate that 2.98 million Americans are employed in the arts or in arts-centric businesses. Each dollar allocated to the arts not only supports those individuals; the benefits flow outward to their communities and to other businesses.

We need to recall the wonderful art produced when FDR put artists to work during the Great Depression. Do we really want a society in which we let our best talent just go to waste?

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