Last night,  I saw the funk singing, percussion pounding, soulful harmonizing group WAR.  What a show.  My feet were tapping.  My hands were clapping and I was totally at peace with the world.  What a thrill to share that experience with other like minded music lovers.

But, what if there was no music?  Or art?  Or literature?  Or theater?

I guess it sounds far-fetched, but it had me thinking.  With a super long recession for individuals, corporations, and governments, arts groups and publishing industries are teetering on the edge of financial solvency.  Art and music venues struggle to fill the seats. Donations from individuals and companies are down.  With pressure to bring financial sanity back to government, they are forced to choose between providing for our county’s basic needs and supporting the arts.

Arts education in school (with the exception of literature) is threatened by both lack of funding and the determination to make our students competitive in a global economy.  It’s not that I think academics are not important.  It’s more the point that without the arts, we are only part of what we could be.

Without the arts, I have this vision of Russia in January.  Cold, dark, gray.  Maybe that’s my Cold War upbringing.  I don’t want to live in a world with only shades of gray.  I’m more of a multicolored, polka-dotted, swirling flash of joy kind of person.

For those of us who create art, what would it be like if we no longer had a venue?  Would you still create it if you knew no one would see or hear it?

So, what’s a girl to do?  I’m not loaded and can’t save the arts by myself.  But, I can buy a book and download a song. I can see a musical and visit a museum.  And, I can write checks to my favorite arts organizations as I can as surely as I can pay my cable bill.

What have you seen, heard, or experienced that made has inspired you?  How do you support the arts?

Such a serious post from the woman who brought you Milk Out My Nose.  What can I say?  I’ve got lots of different shades of me.

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