Does the overall artistic atmosphere of a country or locale improve with government funding? What do you feel about the funding of education in general for skills like writing, language, music, or artwork? Let’s dive in!
I wrote the following in response to an email I received, urging people to contact their Senators and support the passage of a bill that would allocate an additional $15 Million to both the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) and the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH). Being an English major, an avid musician, and an amateur artist, you might think I would support this idea. Here’s what I wrote to my senators…
Senator Reid and Senator Ensign,
I just received an email indicating the House approved a $15 Million increase for both the NEA and the NEH.
Throwing money at a problem rarely fixes it – and we’ve thrown money at our economy in magnitudes of such scale that most Americans are desensitized to large money anymore. Thus, $15 Million may sound puny in comparison to what’s already been spent to bail out banks, car companies, and buy up bad debt. However, it is still a very large amount of money and must come from our pockets, either in the form of new taxes or through devaluing the money that we already possess. But in truth, the amount of money is really less of an issue than its effectiveness as a solution.
But how does a society encourage itself to appreciate art; to value something aesthetic that is currently not widely appreciated?
Art is extremely important, but it doesn’t need government support (especially in the form of money – the false panacea) to survive. Quite the opposite in fact. Art needs a strong educational system that promotes the value of art within our culture, an educational system that teaches children and adults the importance of responsibility, sacrifice, love, and the fleeting, impermanent nature of our lives. Great art communicates these aspects of our experience. And the wonderful thing about the teaching of these truths is that it doesn’t require extra funding – just dedicated teachers who have been empowered with the ability to run a successful classroom.
Problems are rarely solved with money. Please don’t think that $15 Million to the NEA and NEH will do much to increase art appreciation in our society. Instead, we must present our children opportunities to endure and triumph in their daily lives, creating experiences which will allow true art to resonate within them personally. And while this task will take concerted effort and a rethinking of our educational model, it will ultimately lead to a greater society in which art, and the appreciation thereof, is sustainable.
Please take the time to let me know what you think on this issue – because I believe that while we may disagree, we’re ultimately after the same thing.
PS. I just moved to Nashville to pursue songwriting professionally, and my band’s self-titled debut album, “The Pretty Unknown” was just released!
What kind of music is it?
It’s like if Taylor Swift was the surrogate mother for Michael Bublé and Sarah McLachlan’s love child. Then they raised the child listening The Beach Boys and The Beatles. That’s a technical critique.
So if you’ve found the above article at all entertaining, please considering listening to some of our songs. If you enjoy, we’d be eternally obliged if you supported our music by sharing with your friends or, better yet, buying an album. Take a listen!