Often times, I feel like the arts are pointed to as a fluff category in life. Who cares about reading fiction or looking at a painting when there are so many other things going on in the world? I care, and so do a lot of others. But why?
I’m so glad you asked!
Here are some quotes from the National Endowment of the Arts that talk about why art matters:
“The arts matter because I learn something about people and places I would have never known otherwise. The arts make my brain and my heart stretch to make room for newness. Sometimes, parts of me are displaced and replaced by wiser stuff. And that’s a fine thing.” – Victoria Hutter
“Art matters because it illustrates the human experience—the wonder of it, the bewilderment of it, the whimsy of it, and so much more. We would not be connected so deeply without the existence of art.” – Kathleen Dinsmore
“The arts matter because they give us a mutual space where we can talk to one another about the most important things to us. It can turn strangers into old friends with lots in common.” – Maryrose Flanigan
“The arts matter because art is meant to move people either on an intellectual or emotional level. Whether this is a book that stays with you days later, or a performance that moves you spiritually or a song that makes you look at the world around you in a different way. The purpose of art is to cause a reaction and with this purpose it can create a synergy of change; change in attitudes, perceptions, and thoughts.” – Catherine Brookes
“The arts matter because without them our strong emotions, our vital voices, our move-to-the-groove energy and necessary empathy and life-affirming connectedness and tendency toward complexity might all wither from disuse, maybe even destroy us through misuse. The arts matter because with them, we matter.” – Amy Stolls
“The arts matter because we matter, and our stories matter. We are moving miracles, walking creators engaging in a cosmic dance. The art we express is timeless.” –Mohammed Sheriff
“The arts matter because they help us see the world from different perspectives. They give us empathy and help us understand people, places, periods of history, and issues with which we may otherwise be unfamiliar. They comfort us in grief and energize us in celebration. They are important because they can act as a catalyst for change…they can start a revolution! The arts ignite something in our brains that I can’t explain, but I know it’s essential for life.” – Jennie Terman
“The arts matter because they allow an individual a platform to express their unique creativity to/with the world.” – Monica Waters
“The arts matter because they allow us to express ourselves and illustrate the world around us in a different light, helping us to gain understanding, build communities, and give hope.” – Kelli Rogowski
“The arts matter because they are like a gift from one soul to another – whether it’s a joyful, simple gift like a child’s drawing, or a play or novel that makes you think and hurt and wish and feel, the arts help us understand ourselves and each other.” – Carrie Holbo
“The arts matter because creativity is an infinite and enduring resource, one to draw upon in both the most joyous and the most challenging of moments. The arts strengthen community bonds, create new means of connection and understanding, and offer a continuous, powerful, and resilient source of individual and collective identity.” – Sarah Burford
“The arts matter because they are the record of our civilization and the arrow pointing forward to our future.” – Greg Reiner
What I think a lot of these quotes boil down to is art matters because we matter. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. And if you don’t believe me, maybe you’ll believe this guy:
I’m off to go make some art, and I hope you do the same. Have a wonderful Wednesday!
Neil Gaiman’s Art Matters is available from Amazon here.
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