The arts feed us. They are not like cake. You can skip cake. You have to eat your vegetables.
There is tremendous nourishment to be found in museums and theaters. These provide us nutrients for our soul. I will focus here on theater arts, but it applies to all aspects of essential human endeavors in expression and self-expression.
Good and good for you!
The arts, in their turn, need nourishing. They are most often supported by the public that attends to them. It’s a kind of symbiosis.
Not for profit theater is particularly vulnerable. The subscription houses that depend upon patrons will tell you that only x% is derived from the price of tickets; the rest is covered by donations, and sometimes public funding. In the present environment, the latter is
likely –no scratch that– definitely not going to be much support.
Mind the gap
It is up to us, and to theater professionals to find their way around the gaps.
Twitter is explosive with opinions and comments on all sides, with many an artist standing tall in that forum. Some hail from abroad, including Canada based University of Waterloo. Others like @GeorgeTakei and @Rosie (O’Donnell) are doing what we expect in their tweets, as is our dear @cher, whose all caps outrage is refreshing.
We can easily concede that the 140 character message does not begin to tell the story. For more complete dialog, there will be many artists empanelled in an effort to understand how to proceed.
The Public Theater is holding a series of fori on the subject of the election’s impact on the arts. In March, the panwels will address what responsible citizens can do in this new dystopian era; the series is called Truth to Power.
On February 20th, Theater Resources Unlimited (TRU) will take a direct look at the risks this election has created, and how the artistic community should and can address them.
March 3-5, Dixon Place in association with the Institute of Prophetic Activist Art hosts an International Human Rights Festival as their answer to life in the post election USA. The festival, a first of its kind in NYC’s long cultural history, celebrates the arts and activism.
Tom Block, the force behind the International Human Rights Festival talks about progressive art: