Tuesday 26 April 2011

Invest in the Arts

In the "MLAs Face to Face with the Filipino Community" session held last April 19, 2011 hosted by MLA Carl Benito, amongst the issues of temporary foreign workers, immigration,  and Filipino nurses, a concern on the significance of arts and culture in the work of the ministries represented, i.e. Health, Immigration, and Education, and a push for an increase in profile of Philippine arts and culture was raised. 

It was gratifying to hear Minister Dave Hancock's response that the next direction for Education is Creativity, after Literacy.  This thrust then makes the Arts a core subject, rather than a peripheral one.  For to create tomorrow's leaders in a world we are not definite on how it will look, we need to nurture creativity and innovation.

Music, dance, poetry, visual arts, etc., are thought to enhance intelligence, physical and mental health for the young and old, and foster multicultural understandings.  The arts are expressions of creativity and can instill confidence and build self-worth.

Mayor Stephen Mandel himself highlights the importance of arts in our community, with the following excerpts from his State of the City address:
  • ...if we truly want to focus on attracting business and creating a superior quality of life for Edmontonians, we must start with the creative industry of our citizens...
  • ...the promise of our future can be secured by cultivating and investing in our arts industry...
  • ...the vision is to establish Edmonton one of Canada's clear cultural HUBs, supporting excellence across all mediums with arts as an economic driver for our region...
Arts then, indeed, is an industry and is an economic factor in society.  In America, its highest earning industry is Broadway and also its biggest export, with all the touring these productions do.

So with all these proven individual and societal benefits, why not invest in the arts?  It is never too early or too late to be involved.  Enrol in courses in dance, music, theatre and the visual arts.  Watch local performances, visit galleries, instill a love for reading.  Take advantage of the cyberworld and visit the different companies, theatres and witness the artistry in their various works.  Volunteer in and/or sponsor art events in your local community.  One does not have to have professional aspirations to appreciate and benefit from art.  For when the art speaks to one self, it speaks direct to the core, to the soul.

And having experienced that, we make our world a better place to live in.

1 comment:

  1. this article was published in "Philippine Hiyas", July 2011 issue