There are a lot of posts coming in about advocacy and arts education, and many of them are both hopeful and cautious about what’s happening now in the world.
It’s good to see such optimism, especially given that we face mighty opposition to the very basic value of what we do and make, but it seems to fly against what I see as a burgeoning reality in America.
Starting in the mid 1980s, on the tail of the passage of Prop 13 in California, the public at large started to make a demonstrable shift away from valuing the arts.
The number of eighteen-year-olds claiming to have received any arts education has declined, and precipitously, every year since 1985.
This isn’t new info, and it probably has been rehashed better than I could in many other blogs across the ether, but while we sit here taking pride in our new data on our value, we are up against a mightily fractured world being run by a series of generations who have, by and large, had little or no sustained education in (or using) the arts, and who consequently are acting like people that don’t care about a looming loss simply because that loss has never been personally felt.
It’s a hard place to find ourselves in, a shrinking minority in a country with very little love for something that has been framed (by both them and us) as a luxury, a “want” instead of a “need.” Read the rest of this entry »