Letters to the Editor

Art is for all

February 18, 2011


To the editor:

What is art? Art is a means of communication. It provides a way of thinking “outside the box.” It’s a chronicler of life. It’s a pleasure for each of the senses — sight, sound, taste, touch, smell. Art is a discipline that crosses cultural lines, language barriers, age, sex. It’s a uniquely human endeavor. Art can be done and appreciated by all humans. Apparently, the governor of Kansas feels that art isn’t universal enough to be supported by the state; it should be privately funded by and for the few who can afford it. It is an elite endeavor, not to be available to all Kansans.

Dwight Eisenhower (soldier) and Winston Churchill (statesman) enjoyed painting. They may not have been experts, but they relaxed with the visual arts. Albert Einstein (physicist) played the violin, but apparently not very well. (Not everyone can.) Isaac Stern, a renowned violinist, was one who often played with Einstein. Once, when practicing duets, Stern stopped in the middle and, with exasperation, allegedly exclaimed to the scientist: “Count, Albert, count!” He may have had problems with his musical clock, but Einstein still enjoyed art. Would that all Kansans had the opportunity to partake of this uniquely human endeavor and to reap from it what they may. What say, Governor?


Richard Heckler 7 years, 1 month ago

Arts and Economic Prosperity

This study demonstrates that the nonprofit arts and culture industry is an economic driver in communities—a growth industry that supports jobs, generates government revenue, and is the cornerstone of tourism.

Nationally, the nonprofit arts and culture industry generates $166.2 billion in economic activity every year—$63.1 billion in spending by organizations and an additional $103.1 billion in event-related spending by their audiences.

The study is the most comprehensive study of the nonprofit arts and culture industry ever conducted. It documents the economic impact of the nonprofit arts and culture industry in 156 communities and regions (116 cities and counties, 35 multicounty regions, and five states), and represents all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

The $166.2 billion in total economic activity has a significant national impact, generating the following:

* $5.7 million full-time equivalent jobs
*$104.2 billion in household income
*$7.9 billion in local government tax revenues
*$9.1 billion in state government tax revenues
*$12.6 billion in federal income tax revenues

Our Arts & Economic Prosperity studies continue to be among the most frequently cited statistics used to demonstrate the impact of the nation’s nonprofit arts industry on the local, state, and national economy.

  1. Economic Impact : http://www.americansforthearts.org/information_services/research/services/economic_impact/default.asp

  2. Information and Services: http://www.americansforthearts.org/information_services/

  3. http://www.AmericansForTheArts.org

Richard Heckler 7 years, 1 month ago

Meet another way Art works :

What is Waldorf Education?(also available to home schoolers)

Teachers in Waldorf schools are dedicated to generating an inner enthusiasm for learning within every child... allowing motivation to arise from within and helping engender the capacity for joyful lifelong learning.

For the Waldorf student, music, dance, and theater, writing, literature, legends and myths are not simply subjects to be read about, ingested and tested. They are experienced. Through these experiences, Waldorf students cultivate a lifelong love of learning as well as the intellectual, emotional, physical and spiritual capacities to be individuals certain of their paths and to be of service to the world.

Developed by Rudolf Steiner in 1919, Waldorf Education is based on a profound understanding of human development that addresses the needs of the growing child. Waldorf teachers strive to transform education into an art that educates the whole child—the heart and the hands, as well as the head.

When you enter a Waldorf school, the first thing you may notice is the care given to the building. The walls are usually painted in lively colors and are adorned with student artwork. Evidence of student activity is everywhere to be found and every desk holds a uniquely created main lesson book.

Another first impression may be the enthusiasm and commitment of the teachers you meet. These teachers are interested in the students as individuals. They are interested in the questions:

* How do we establish within each child his or her own high level of academic excellence?
* How do we call forth enthusiasm for learning and work, a healthy self-awareness, interest and concern for fellow human beings, and a respect for the world?
* How can we help pupils find meaning in their lives?

"When children relate what they learn to their own experience, they are interested and alive, and what they learn becomes their own. Waldorf schools are designed to foster this kind of learning." —Henry Barnes, a longtime Waldorf teacher

Teachers in Waldorf schools are dedicated to generating an inner enthusiasm for learning within every child. They achieve this in a variety of ways. Even seemingly dry and academic subjects are presented in a pictorial and dynamic manner. This eliminates the need for competitive testing, academic placement, and behavioristic rewards to motivate learning. It allows motivation to arise from within and helps engender the capacity for joyful lifelong learning.

The Waldorf curriculum is broad and comprehensive, structured to respond to the three developmental phases of childhood: from birth to approximately 6 or 7 years, from 7 to 14 years and from 14 to 18 years. Rudolf Steiner stressed to teachers that the best way to provide meaningful support for the child is to comprehend these phases fully and to bring "age appropriate" content to the children that nourishes healthy growth.

dinoman 7 years, 1 month ago

face facts we ARE IN A RECESSION... just when will everybody realize this yes i believe art is important.. but not at the cost of schools or roads or the hundred other things that our state pays for.. oh yea i really mean we pay for.. and yes i paint and play the violin so i do see both sides of the coin.. especially when i drive down the streets and hit those pot holes or read about the stores downtown that are closing.. soooo wake up America lets start using money wisely ...and if there is some left over then yes lets do art...thanks w

George Lippencott 7 years, 1 month ago

I am all for art. I am also for keeping some of my income. We are a town of 60,000 permanent residents. We have a public facility for the arts paid by in no small part our taxes. We have an art museum at the local university paid for with our taxes. We have art events subsidized by our taxes. WE have city purchased art scattered about our landscape. Seems to me that we are supporting art for at least those willing to consider it. We seem to be arguing over an organization rather than a real support for the arts issue. Just what is the real issue here?

Kontum1972 7 years, 1 month ago

mb if all us artists just painted pictures of Jesus....that might be acceptable....feedback plz.

oh yeah...am i incorrect but...don't new governors have their portraits painted to hang in the atrium ?

Kontum1972 7 years, 1 month ago

I am with you George...i have a piece in the city....guess it will be open season on it...i wonder if the gov's parents beat him...when he was drawing as a little kid?


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