Art is Not a Luxury

Great essay by Dana Gioia in the Wall Street Journal Opinion Page:

The Impoverishment of American Culture
And the need for better art education.

"American artists, intellectuals and academics have lost their ability to converse with the rest of society. We have become wonderfully expert in talking to one another, but we have become almost invisible and inaudible in the general culture.

This mutual estrangement has had enormous cultural, social and political consequences. America needs its artists and intellectuals, and they need to re-establish their rightful place in the general culture. If we could reopen the conversation between our best minds and the broader public, the results would not only transform society but also artistic and intellectual life."


Gioia makes a point later in the piece that people who are actively involved in reading for pleasure and who participate in the arts are much more actively involved in life & their community, than the other group who he calls "passive consumers." (Insert image of person watching television here.)

I truly believe that though it is harder to measure what "the arts" do for individuals and communities, what the arts bring is only a positive for society.

Intriguing article. What do you think?