Americans for the Arts

Week 44: Americans for the Arts

Hi GIVE52’ers, Happy Halloween! This week is all about the arts. 

Art is a huge part of my life. My husband is a graphic artist and our home is filled to the brim with the colorful work of his and his friends. He has been an artist his whole life, painting on the bottom of his friends’ surfboards, doodling on the back of notebooks, and now, he makes a living doing what he loves most. But art is even more than creating imagery, painting on a canvas, or playing beautiful note. It is a way of being in the world. 

I believe we all have the capacity to be artists, especially if we define art as Seth does:

An artists is someone who uses bravery, insight, creativity, and boldness to challenge the status quo. And an artists takes it personally.
Art is a personal gift that changes the recipient. The medium doesn’t matter. The intent does.
Art is a personal act of courage, something one human does that creates change in another.
— Seth Godin

This is why art and arts education is so important. It is a lens in which we can choose to see the world around us. That is why, this week’s organization is Americans for the Arts.

Tyler Spangler - digital collage

Tyler Spangler - digital collage

Their mission is to “serve, advance, and lead the network of organizations and individuals who cultivate, promote, sustain, and support the arts in America”. They work to ensure that every American has access to the transformative power of the arts. 

They work on advocacy to provide access to arts and arts education. Currently, they are fighting hard to save the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) which is set to be eliminated.

The National Endowment for the Arts has provided investment in the arts through its core programs for “dance, design, folk and traditional arts, literature, local arts agencies, media arts, multidisciplinary arts, music, theater, visual arts, and others”. Art programs have grown in areas previously underserved or not served at all, especially in rural and inner-city communities. This is thanks, in part, to the NEA who partners with state arts agencies on, and provides funding for arts programming.

Art means progress, beauty, bravery, and boldness. We must preserve the arts and fight for the opportunity for future generations to benefit from them. 

Here’s to being an artist.

Have a terrific week and Happy Halloween!