Recent studies by Americans for the Arts, Giving USA, and others have drawn welcome public attention to the role of corporate giving in the creative ecology -- some sounding alarms and others offering rays of hope.
Do you enjoy the sleek look of your new iPhone? You can thank Steve Jobs for taking a calligraphy class at Reed College. Have you or your kids scribbled on a pair of Vans sneakers? Vans' President Kevin Bailey credits the brand's creativity with the arts education many of his employees have taken.
To be honest, every month is an arts and humanities month, with 100,000 nonprofit arts organizations alone serving all of America. It's just that October is a month to boast a bit about our American arts and humanities treasures.
Low-income families and geographically underserved students (disproportionately students of color) who have little access to local resources receive few opportunities to explore the important benefits of the arts. This sends a very strong message: Classical ballet is not for you.
Yo-Yo Ma expanded the discussion from "Art for Art's Sake" to "Art for Life's Sake," addressing both the critical argument for the role of the arts in society, and the responsibility of artists to see themselves as world citizens who are as concerned about our greatest global challenges.
News directors, please leave the animal stories and pictures to the Internet, which was apparently built specifically to disseminate such "aw"-inspiring material. And with the time you free up, maybe you can spare a minute for the arts now and then.
At Create the State, we were reminded that a healthy, economically and otherwise robust society is supported by a profile of positive traits associated with engagement in the arts, including empathy and self-efficacy as well as creativity.
There are stories that all of us in the arts have: of the arts changing a child's life; humanizing a hospital; and revitalizing a rural or urban downtown. The arts are not part of the problem but part of the solution to America's problems.