09/18/2013 04:59 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

WATCH: Aspen Arts Discussion On Citizenship, Democracy And The Arts

What role should art play in contemporary society? And what is our government's responsibility in ensuring this role? It's a question we're constantly grappling with, and one we're always happy to see addressed. Tonight the Aspen Institute's Arts Program will raise these pressing questions in a discussion with some of today's most influential figures working in the intersection of arts and government.

Aspen Institute Arts Program Director Damian Woetzel will speak with Commissioner of the NYC Department of Cultural Affairs Kate Levin, former speechwriter and Deputy Domestic Policy Adviser to President Clinton and author of The Gardens of Democracy Eric Liu and President of Hunter College Jennifer J. Raab, discussing the ever-evolving place of art in our society. Below the Institute gives us a sneak preview of some of the issues we can expect to be brought to the table.

Should government ensure that all have access to ways to express themselves, and to find their voice as artists and as citizens? How does exercising one's rights as a citizen create power, and how do arts and culture contribute to that work? What responsibility do arts leaders have to foster a sense of shared national culture? And what is the role of educational institutions in harnessing the benefits of “art for life’s sake?”

The talk begins at 7:30 pm EST (6:30 EDT) this evening and will be streaming live below.