Monday, February 9, 2009

We Can't Give Up - We Can't Give In

It's been a very long time between posts.  I'm not off to a rousing start on my own New Year's resolution to write more, am I?  Part of the reason is that my optimism and resulting clear-headed-ness of the new year and a new president have been overshadowed by the quickening drumbeat of cultural institutions in trouble and their attempts to get themselves out of it.  

Add to that the latest decisions in New York State and nationally to cut museums, art centers, theaters, etc. out of current year's arts funding and the federal stimulus package (at least for now) and it feels like one giant wallop to the side of the head.  One museum advocate said last week in regard to the stimulus language exempting arts and cultural organizations from funding that museums are misunderstood -- we haven't made the case for their economic and educational importance.

Is this really true?  Since part of my life is spent trying to make that case, I find it difficult to believe that we -- collectively -- haven't been able to push that nut farther up the hill.

Sure, it's easy to say that cultural institutions are no funding match for health care, defense, homelessness, and infrastructure.  But once you say that, you're down for the count.  The fact is that cultural institutions do make a difference, do contribute high value to individuals and communities, and are just as worthy of public support. So, that's where my head's been at the last few weeks.  How about you?

We can't give up.  We can't give in.  Call your elected officials today and tell them so.

Photo:Throw A Drowning Man A Brick by alex itin

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