Advocates for Art Education

The Pennsylvania state legislature has voted to cut all funding to the arts. This includes the elimination of the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts - a key organization dedicated to supporting both arts and arts education in the state. You can help by visiting the Citizens for the Arts in Pennsylvania website and signing their petition to have funding reinstated in a new bill that is going up before the legislature shortly.

Michelle Obama:

...paintings and poetry, music and fashion, design and dialogue, they all define who we are as a people and provide an account of our history for the next generation... My husband and I believe strongly that arts education is essential for building innovative thinkers who will be our nation's leaders for tomorrow"

Quincy Jones:

I am of the mindset that you have to know where you come from to get to where you're going. The time has come to make a concerted effort from both the public and private sectors to put in place a system whereby our children and future generations will be aware of our county's rich cultural legacy and contributions to the world. The arts, particularly our music, are the soul of our country. They are an expression of our spiritual ideals and a timeline of the emotional state of our nation... scars and all. It is a disservice to every American not to recognize them in their proper light.

He makes some excellent points, and I have only the greatest respect for Jones both as an incredibly talented musician and patron for the arts, but "Paticularly our music"? It seems to me that a country's "rich cultural legacy" can only be understood through a rich and diverse exposure to all of the ways that people express themselves. He ends on an important note:

In the global landscape that we live in today where ideas are exchanged with the stroke of a send key, what better way to influence nations than by exposing them to the basic belief in freedom of expression that is inherent in our nation and witnessed through our culture.

Click that send key for the Citizens for the Arts in PA's petition.


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