Last weekend, I was at an art opening at the Los Angeles Municipal Art Gallery in Barnsdall Park for the group show: Deconstructed Applications. The title is appropriate because like many arts organizations, they are fighting for funding. It’s hard to believe such a venue that is designed by Frank Lloyd Wright is hanging by a thread to survive. However, this seems to unfortunately become commonplace in today’s economic climate.
Similarly, Oakland’s Pro Arts Gallery had to fight to keep funding and the arts off the budget chopping block. Fortunately, they fought hard and “won” the battle temporarily. However, it appears that every year art organizations will have to fight for every “scrap” of funding.
This problem has moved from cities to states, nationally, and globally.
The arts are an investment that gives much more back in quantitative value than other budget priorities. It keeps neighborhoods safe, productive, and instills a sense of pride. How can art be a bad investment?
Creativity is at the heart of innovation. We need art so that the United States can lead once again. Without it, the quality and meaning of life will become just stale and dull. That’s why I truly believe, that creativity can help dig us out of this hole, economically and spiritually.