Pelorus Press believes in the importance of art and the importance of a government that prioritizes access to art for all. Art has always been viewed as an easy cut. We have frequently seen many governmental institutions favor the promotion of production for revenue at the expense of art programing.
The arts bring vital benefits to our community. Reading the proposed budget this morning reminded us of the simple yet beautiful article “Why Are Arts Important,“ by Dee Dickinson of John Hopkins School of Education. Proven time and time again they boost test scores, social skills, and critical thinking, but most importantly, as Dickinson points out, they “are languages that all people speak that cut across racial, cultural, social, educational, and economic barriers and enhance cultural appreciation and awareness.” Art is the way we connect with each other; it is the way we speak to each other. It builds understanding beyond our own familiarities.
With an arresting line of poetry or the stroke of a paintbrush, art reminds us that we all share in the experience that is being human. To propose a budget that strips away all federal support from the arts, including dismantling necessary public goods such as public broadcasting and grants, is to propose a dismantling of human connection. In a world that feels like we are all floating away from each other, beyond our reach, art is the bond that keeps us tethered together. Art is our beacon that brings us back home.
Photograph by Jacquelyn Martin. Aerial dancers rehearse while suspended on ropes on the wall of the Old Post Office Pavilion, home to the National Endowment for the Arts in in Washington. Wednesday May, 9 2012.