cultural arts?

Irony #25*:  People who fancy themselves the elite, ‘cultured’ society- who attend 15 theatre season kick off parties or arts-related soirees to every 1 actual art event, if that many.  I know you look great in that Marc Jacobs dress, and I know your picture will look fabulous in Shelby’s column- but who are we trying to kid here?

The answer?  Us.  The arts administrators.  It’s for our benefit as much as yours- so we don’t feel like such fools asking for your contributions.

But can anyone really be blamed?  Our society is not terribly inclined to appreciate art- it is infrequently taught in our schools or in our homes.  We are not demonstrated art’s value and so, we let it slip further and further away.  It becomes the pasttime of the pretentious and the disenfranchised.

So if not art, what do we value?  If the depreciation of art was a result of the appreciation of education, it might be a relief.  But it’s not, as evidenced by the meager salaries paid to teachers and the abysmal state of our educational system.  Case in point: If a man (even a presidential candidate) is bright and well-spoken, he is suddenly an elitist.  And not in a good way.

So, what is it then?  Status?  Celebrity?  How empty and fleeting those are.

They say that art flourishes in times of adversity- so perhaps I saw the silver lining in the economic crisis.  Yes, the philanthropy will be curtailed.  The salaries of arts administrators may disappear altogether.  But maybe when Louis Vuitton is out of reach, people will learn to value what’s been virtually free all along.

*My righteously indignant- and painfully naive- diatribe for the month.


~ by ladamesansregrets on October 14, 2008.

5 Responses to “cultural arts?”

  1. Totally agree! As arts administrators we must take responsibility for marketing the ARTS. Keeping the end-goal in mind – arts – while still finding new and exciting ways to engage new and ‘old’ audiences – it can be a tricky, tricky monkey and sometimes I am blinded by having the *it* crowd & the flashy PR that comes with it. But in the end, that news story or party gets lost in the throngs of next weeks’ and we’re still left with a defecit in arts audiences. [Side note: I think vocabulary is big here to distinguish supporters v audiences.] Education not only in our schools systems but also in our underserved communities through partnerships with local businesses and cultural groups is the keystone …

    Great post! A topic of discussion to be continued soon I’m sure 😉

  2. WTF!!! Yer so scary. It’s like the world is going to crash with a splash. Claws and all, its not sweetness and candy, just realopinion.

  3. finger snaps. finger snaps.

  4. I have great hope.
    There will be a truly new, exciting and relevant theatre made in the tent cities of the near future.
    This I predict.

    I look forward to the hobo avant-garde
    the class war on stage and in the cheap seats
    when they are all cheap seats
    but then I’m not exactly right in the head

    that is why I make art
    and seek it out
    to make some sense of the not right

    or something like that.

  5. Painfully naive? Are you kidding?
    You’ve hit it on the head.

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