Why the Governemnt Should Support the Arts Essay

The arts encompass many creative endeavors and disciplines including the visual arts, literary arts and the performing arts. Art plays an important role in our society, history, and sense of being. The famous artist, Pablo Picasso, summed up the importance of art when he said, “Art washes from the soul the dust of everyday life”. What we know about ancient civilizations is based on artifacts found by archaeologists. First Lady Michelle Obama visited New York City in May of 2009 to promote the arts and to celebrate the reopening of the American wing of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. At the ceremony Mrs. Obama said, “The arts are not just a nice thing to have,” adding that the arts “define who we are as a people.” (Swarns) If the arts are so important, and define us individually and collectively, why then are they the first thing cut out when times get tough? Just last month, the House approved Rep. Tim Walberg’s amendment to cut an additional $20.5 million from the already reduced budget of the National Endowment for the Arts. (AFTA) On a state level, cutbacks of 23% are targeted at North Carolina Arts Council grants funding. (NC) If these cutbacks are approved this will directly affect Onslow County and every other county in the state. The private sector makes the biggest contributions to arts funding but government support plays a vital role in the effectiveness and equitable distribution of the arts. Why should government support the arts? The answer may seem complex yet it is relatively simple, the arts are a worthy investment.In a recent interview Sarah Palin told Sean Hannity, “NPR, National Endowment for the Arts, National Endowment for the Humanities, all those kind of frivolous things that government shouldn’t be in t…

…tly enriched his talent and life.Most people have the misconception that government funding of arts means their hard earned tax dollars are going straight to some hippie busker playing an acoustic guitar on the street corner, or an artist whose goal is to shock the world with crayon masterpieces, or the photographer whose wants to stretch the boundaries of censorship but the truth of the matter is that it is an investment. When our tax dollars are used to fund the arts they provide direct economic benefits to states and communities, they create jobs, attract investments, generate tax revenues, and stimulate local economies through tourism and consumer purchases. A robust arts industry prepares our children for the 21st century, and fills our lives with discovery and learning. In the words of Pablo Picasso, “Art washes from the soul the dust of everyday life”.

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