This was recently published by the Chicago Tribune regarding the possibility of the elimination of the NEA (National Endowment of the Arts) by the newly elected President and his administration:
“The public realm – as opposed to commercial entertainment, including politics as currently practiced – produces ideas, information and emotional states that can’t be predicted, or controlled. It fosters the research that challenges venerable assumptions about the world; it generates the data which can point to the failings and blindness of people in power, and the often invisible frailty of our world; and it offers us ideas about the well-lived and ethical life that can’t be contained within the market’s understanding that winning is everything and consumption is paradise. It also creates webs of dependency and connection, on each other, on books, on art, on knowledge, that are, paradoxically, the well springs of genuine freedom.
Will anyone notice once these things are gone? Will it matter to artists that the NEA, which hasn’t given direct grants to artists in decades, is finally eliminated? There will likely be other changes to the social fabric that generate even more anxiety and genuine suffering in the coming months and years”
This was for me, a perfect example of why organizations like Riverside Fine Arts and programs like Project Listen are needed in our community. If things like this are indeed on the “chopping block”, it is not our responsibility – as a community of arts and music lovers – to provide the ways and means to ensure that love of music and arts don’t disappear as well?