Art Works Blog

The Arts Matter Because... (April Edition)

April is a double-whammy when it comes to the arts. Not only is it Jazz Appreciation Month, but it's also National Poetry Month (it's also Procrastination Awareness Month, but we'll get to that later). As a mini blogabration, we've compiled a few quotes from jazz musicians and poets on why art matters. Enjoy!

"Art gives us the opportunity to remember that we’re living magic on a daily basis. When you talk to people, they deal with life as if it’s a mundane thing. Maybe it’s because we’re used to it. Maybe it’s because we’ve been taught through systems and schools that it’s really about something technical and tangible we can touch. But even the best of science, technology, engineering, and math—all those ideas at their core, are magical." Jazz musician & National Council on the Arts Member Irvin Mayfield

“Art matters because it tears off the masks people and whole countries put on because we’re afraid to put ourselves out there instead. I believe art comes from a very genuine part of who we are, something we finally tap into when engaged in the process of art making. So the work is more us than we are, better than we are and much more complex than the world it tries to depict, reflect, or react against.” NEA Literature Fellow Ani Gjika

“If they didn’t exist, we would have to invent them.” Poet and editor Don Share  

Art expands our consciousness, our awareness. It raises our vibration and brings us closer to our higher selves. If there was more appreciation and promotion of the arts in our country, I believe we would have a very different kind of society.” Composer Mary Watkins   

“[The arts matter] because it's a human need. I think humans have the need to express themselves through art and to consume other art.” —NEA Literature Fellow Maia Evrona   

"It's just a beautiful circle, music. What would the world be without music?” 2016 NEA Jazz Master Wendy Oxenhorn


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