Monday, February 2, 2009

Is a new golden age of the arts soon to be born?

While it's premature to speculate on whether the economic stimulus package that's finally agreed upon by Congress and the Obama administration will include an arts jobs program, this is certainly a moment in time to reflect upon our nation's great legacy that emerged from the Federal Arts Project during the Great Depression.

Visual artists produced so many images that remain indelibly brushed upon the canvas of American culture, from Dorothea Lange's haunting photos to the murals of Diego Rivera. In the performing arts, there were the legendary productions of Orson Welles and John Houseman. Every public works project, like Boulder (now Hoover) Dam, seemed to exhibit imagination in its design and incorporate decorative elements that were not simply afterthoughts. Writers reconceived guides to every state that today are considered masterpieces of that genre.

When the Federal government came to the rescue in the dark times of the 1930s, the inclusion of artists not only provided jobs to a chronically underemployed segment of the workforce, but instilled hope among our citizens and bestowed upon future generations a body of work that continues to inspire us.

Is a new golden age of the arts about to be born?

1 comment:

Svelata said...

In my opinion, the down-sizing we are experiencing in our lives today because of the economy has already initiated a great shift of consciousness towards the more profound aspects of life, like art and beauty. I believe in society's ability to influence the government in this direction, and that, combined with a passionate and inspired president, will only mean good things for creativity. My team and I have already begun preparing for this future with a project unlike any other in the art world. If you care to learn more about it check out our web site