It never seems to make headlines that the economic downturns that make life a bit more miserable for us all are especially hard on the arts. Perhaps it’s because—unlike a full gas tank and a full stomach—it’s easier to relegate the arts to the column marked “optional,” i.e. what we’ll spend it on if we have anything left over.
And, who can argue with that?
But the fact remains that “man does not live by bread alone.”
Art is one part of the larger system we call civilization: a means of assimilating, analyzing, and responding to our experiences by either challenging the status quo or coming to terms with the world as it is. It’s also one of the very few reliable ropes to cling to when the comfortable and familiar appears to be crumbling all around us. A lifeline enabling us—eventually—to climb above the morass, see where we stand, and begin again.
We’re not trembling on the brink; but, clearly, we are on the verge of some significant changes in the ways we live and work—and the ways things are done. A good time, perhaps, to remind ourselves of the pivotal role the arts play in making life more meaningful and to ensure that the best of the arts are kept affordable and available to people of all ages, backgrounds and incomes—come hell or high water.
So, keep the arts in mind in the coming months and years. Your continued support is vital to us all.
Suzanne Calvin, Assoc. Dir. of Marketing, The Dallas Opera