Bravo! Last week, Academy Award-winning actor Kevin Spacey spoke on behalf of the Arts. And he wasn’t the only one! Alec Baldwin and Hill Harper spoke on Capitol Hill urging lawmakers to not cut funding to the arts. I’ve written countless times on how cutting funding for public programs such as the National Endowment of the Arts and PBS is preposterous. Well, I have to say it’s nice to see others step up and raise their voices in protest.
Some argue that such programs should be self sustaining like commercial television, but in a culture where young pop art flourishes, by the time we get to appreciate the finer expressions (and not all do) of the arts, the programs, the artists who have dedicated their lives to perfect these may long be gone and forgotten. PBS offers programs on subjects in history and the arts that help us to understand where we came from and where we are going. Programs like these provide hope and guidance for future generations.
The National Endowment for the Arts is a life support for programs of every ilk. From Sesame Street to PBS biographies, forgotten history to exotic places of the world… like Sedona! And this latest battle against the arts funding by some of our political leaders is far from over. With a little research, you’ll soon find that some presidential and political hopefuls still describe the arts as ‘frivolous’ spending.
"We are not a poor country. We are a wealthy country, but our real power comes from the power of our ideas," Kevin Spacey said "This is not about saving money. This is ideological."
This is not the time to cut the arts and squash creativity. During this slow rise of the economy as we get back on track we need more art, more creative minds to find better, sustainable ways for us to live and move forward. The backwards thinking of cutting creative programs needs to end now, so we can grow to be a more culturally mindful peaceful nation.
Go to nea.org to support the National Endowment of the Arts and write to your local representatives and let them know you want to preserve the arts above all else. And don’t forget to thank Kevin Spacey and all the others who rise up to share in their support of the arts!
We are not poor, but rich in art.
Remember: grow; learn; conserve; preserve; create; question; educate; change; and free your mind.
About: Kelli Klymenko is an artist, a faculty member and the Marketing & Events Coordinator at Sedona Arts Center: a gathering place where artists can learn, teach, and exhibit their works at the center’s School of the Arts and Fine Art Gallery in uptown Sedona.
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