In times of trouble, the arts stick together. Opening my inbox this week I see a growing number of appeals from everyone from Americans for the Arts and Opera America to small local arts education providers, encouraging their members and audiences to act in defense of the NEA. A report released this week said cuts were being considered by the Trump administration, not merely to the budget of the NEA and the NEH, but potentially wiping out the two agencies entirely. What did the NEA fund this year? Check out this growing online piece by artist Tega Brain.
Government is so big, the nation so vast. But the power of the the people to create change is even more vast. Have you spent awhile feeling that your voice doesn’t really matter, that there is nothing that we can really do to effect change? This can be extremely pervasive and explains why entire communities bow out of the democratic process. But it isn’t true. It’s tough to claim when the odds seem stacked against us, but our choices and actions matter, and there is a groundswell underway right now in response to threats to civil rights, the environment, education, and the arts. Be bolstered.
This week I returned from the March on Washington, where I marched for a better future for all people. A short documentary followed part of my journey with my family as we prepared to march on the Capitol last weekend. It also followed another woman, whose story is tied to immigration, and briefly details women’s movements in American history. Check it out and feel the rising of many people! Wherever you are on the political spectrum, if you’re reading this, we’re pretty sure you see the value of the arts to society, and the value of civil discourse and engagement. We, too, urge you to act now.
Standing Above The Clouds
Young filmmaker Jalena Keane-Lee on her process of working with native Hawaiian teaching artists/movement leaders in her essay and film, Standing Above the Clouds.