“Art washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life.”
Here’s a news flash we can all get behind: “Consortium Views Arts As Engines of Recovery.” This is a headline in The New York Times about a new program called ArtPlace designed to bring artists and art groups together to anchor several dozen projects around the country.
The goal is to harness the arts in different locations from Detroit to Harlem in order to enliven local areas and boost economic growth. Housing, transportation, job creation, and community development will all be energized by the arts. What a wonderful idea!
Here’s what Luis A. Ubinas, one of the program’s movers and shakers, said: “We need to communicate that the arts are as important as ever, that they can’t be left behind, that they can’t be dropped on the cutting-room floor. Too many people think of the arts as luxuries, as jewels, things that may not be necessary in times of need, things that can be put off. The arts are inherently valuable, and they’re also part of what’s going to get us out of this economic problem we’re in.”
Bravo! Picasso said it better of course — he’s an artist, after all: “Art washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life.” Beautiful, isn’t it? But the message is the same: Art matters. It is soul restoring, it enlivens, it energizes.
As writers, we have our own soul-nourishing mission: to tell stories. Write on!