Kevin Spacey recently gave a speech on Arts Advocacy at the Kennedy Center. A brief interview the following day with Chris Matthews of the show Hardball is making the rounds among arts advocates on Twitter. Spacey researched historical testimonials from well-known public figures, and he shared this gem during the speech – Matthews was so struck by it that he asked Spacey to repeat it to his audience:
“When Winston Churchill was Prime Minister and he was told that there were going to be major cuts in arts and culture because of the mounting costs of World War II, he responded with a simple reply, ‘Then what are we fighting for?’”
Today’s quote comes from Bill Strickland, Founder of the Manchester Craftsmen’s Guild and MCG Jazz. We’ve featured Bill in a previous video post here entitled The Arts: Giving Hope to the Hopeless.
“The sand in the hourglass flows only one way. Don’t waste precious time chasing someone else’s definition of success. Live your life with purpose now. Look for the things that inspire you, trouble you, make you feel most alive, and trust in those things to shape your future. They will give you all your heart could ever wish for.”
— Bill Strickland
Previously we posted an impressive list of CEOs of Canadian High-Tech Companies who signed on to a letter advocating liberal arts and a balanced approach to education. We later posted an additional list of CEOs and executives advocating the arts.
Looking for more CEOs and Business Leaders to get on board the arts advocacy train. Any high-ranking CEOs and executives willing to support the following simple statement will be acknowledged here:
“We support funding of arts education as core subjects in our educational institutions. The 21st century workplace requires innovative and creative minds, and arts education is a critical component in the development of the skills necessary to compete in a global marketplace.
“Our employees with a diverse education have increased their value to our companies, our economy, our culture, and themselves.”
We spend a lot of time justifying arts education from all different angles. That’s fine. But let’s not lose sight of what’s important. More and more in the future, as we see that our insatiable appetites for consumerism fail to satisy our hunger for happiness, our choices will be driven by quality of life determinations. Here’s what a colleague has to say about justifying the arts:
“In education, there is a connection between all of the pieces,” said Michael Guillot, former Vice-President for Patron Services and Chief Advancement Officer for the North Carolina Symphony. “Language, music, mathematics, and science are connected to our cognitive functioning. Any time I improve cognitive functioning in one place, odds are I’m going to get it in other places as well.
“But I’ve got to tell you, the other case we make is that in and of itself, art is worthy. If it had no effect on those others, it really wouldn’t matter. It is a pursuit of quality of life, of personal joy, of meaning…And I don’t want to get away from that.”