The world says think outside the box, art says there is no box.
Here’s the thing, if I get people to describe the most significant moments in life, how many people would say the statistical data collected was awe-inspiring. If you’re one of those humans, that’s okay, but I’m pretty sure we can’t be friends.
The most significant moments usually involve people sharing stories, talking about performances, art and nature. Why? Because art is a reflection of life and humanity. That’s why we spend hours listening to sad love songs after a breakup, and we write poems when we’re in love. Our travels involve the arts, because it reflects our true desire for creativity and wonder that transcends our daily life.
So why are we devaluing it by creating another negative social construct around the arts?
NBC decided to feature a section about the Top 5 “Useless” Majors on the Today Show; surprise surprise, fine arts, drama, graphic design and film production dominated the list (yawn). Maybe if they hired some fine arts majors, they’d actually be able to come up with something more creative and original because devaluing of the arts is getting old.
Huffington post writer Allison Caw had the best rebuttal to NBC. In her article, she defines the value of art in humanity, and my favorite line…
“We cannot solve the problems of climate change, racism, sexism, bigotry, poverty, violence and hatred with the same minds that created them. To solve the problems of our world we need artistic, creative and collaborative vision to see what is possible…”
While intellects talk about solving our broken world by “thinking outside the box”, art says “there is no box”. It encourages infinite possibilities in a world that glorifies conformation. Art IS inherently a form of resistance against a capitalist world; it provokes, and also encourages healing, and empathy for one other. That is why *coughs* your arts organization needs to align itself with principles of anti-oppression.
Also, the next time you get into a political squabble with family member, (you know you’ll have another chance during Christmas) try engaging them in personal story-telling/a spoken-word piece, instead of shoving thousands of articles and stats down their throats about why right-wing republicans suck. Then sit back and watch them fidget in their discomfort. You have to admit, it’s pretty hard for someone to be awful after you’ve shared a story about your/someone else’s oppression. Unless they are a die-hard white supremacist, then perhaps even the power of art wouldn’t be able to help you.