I see a troubling trend these days. I see our politicians cutting funding to vital communal lifelines such as public broadcasting and the arts. Schools are sending teachers pink slips and the world is upside down. As banks and corporations get bailout after bailout, it's inevitably up to us to bail ourselves out. It’s up to us (you and me) to support, create and build our communities – one by one, brick by brick.
Last week I wrote a piece for The Scene’s “High Art” and the Sedona Events Alliance about the importance of art as a building block of our society and future generations to come. It was Oscar Wilde who stated, “The self-conscious aim of life is to find expression, and art offers it certain beautiful forms through which it may realize that energy.” Life imitates art, and art imitates life.
It’s true; the arts provide a foundation for communities to grow. But it’s not the group that is so vital – it’s the individuals that truly make a difference. Each friend, family member and aficionado supporting the arts is the mortar that holds firm the foundation of our society. You don’t have to be an artist, musician or writer to appreciate, share or be involved in the arts. Art flows through each and every one of us and ties us all together. Art is at the very center of every society.
Imagine if there was no art, no music, no dance, and no theater; no one to entertain you, no place to lose yourself in imagination, nothing to inspire, delight or nourish your soul. This desolate world would be gray and dry and silent. Thankfully this world does not exist. Our world flourishes thanks to museums, galleries, theaters and centers and schools of art. These are vital resources, where people gather and unite to share their souls, dreams, memories and more. These places offer us a chance to escape, individually into the minds and souls and worlds of those we admire, affecting each of us distinctively.
We need our galleries museums, theaters and schools and they need artists, writers, musicians and teachers. But most importantly – they all need you. You don’t have to be an artist to support an artist or become a member of an arts association; you just need to appreciate the world of art that surrounds you. So, stand up for the arts and public programs in your local community. Support your local friend or family member that donates their time and life to these organizations. Let everyone know that you understand how important art is in your life. Being a member of a local nonprofit makes all the difference in the world.
March is membership drive month at Sedona Arts Center. SAC has been a cultural and educational anchor in Sedona for over half a century. It has continuously contributed to the quality of life in our community by providing arts education, developing emerging artists and stimulating Sedona’s economy by drawing students, acclaimed artists and faculty from all over the world to participate in classes and workshops. It has created a place for people to gather, share their visions and slowly construct a community that is praised today as one of the finest art communities in the country.
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.