September 9, 2009

Obama Forgets the Artists. Just Like Everybody Else.

by Sarah Miller
I just listened to Barack Obama’s speech to the students that he gave at an Arlington, Virginia school. It had a tone of fatherly love and sternness. It was well done and highly necessary. Youth are of the utmost [or should be] concern to society. We don’t honor them enough if you ask me- but that’s another post.

Something struck me about the speech- it appears to be rampant in our Western culture. Professional jobs like doctors, lawyers, scientists and teachers are given credit for shaping our country- and its future. These jobs require a college degree and “serious, studious” types. Great. Great for all the doctors and lawyers.

But, why oh why are the arts never represented or at best underrepresented?! Why are artists, writers, musicians and actors left out of the “professional career” label? What is wrong with a society that doesn’t honor creativity, expression and passionate undertakings? [Of course we’ll find that a lack of funding correlates to this lack of appreciation.] I personally have many theories about this lack of art appreciation and just how dangerous it is for our future society and culture.

The greatest societies of yesteryear honored the artist and recognized their important role in culture, society and the fabric of life. They were honored as being some of the few who could express the spiritual and the language of God. And throughout history it’s the artist who has been able to get away with saying that which has often been considered treason in other realms. Think of the court jester….

When will the artist get the credit, and monetary support, that they[we] deserve?! When will we elect an artist as our next president?

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