American Artscape Notable Quotable: Dr. Tasha Golden

By Paulette Beete
Woman with short black hair singing into a mic with a man out of focus in the background.

Dr. Tasha Golden performing with her band Ellery. Photo by Bill Ivester

"We don't get to live in a world that's unaffected by the arts, where the arts have no influence or power. That world does not exist. The only world we have is a world in which the arts exist and have influence, and we can ignore that or not. We ignore the effects of the arts, and the presence of the arts, the impacts of the arts to our detriment and, sometimes, at our peril. We all are influenced and impacted by the arts to various degrees. It's just a question of whether that's an impact that we can really use to support what we want for our lives and for the people that we love, or whether that's something that we're passively ingesting without realizing it, and it's having effects that we might not register. What I would want for people is to not exclude the arts from your sense of what is meaningful, what matters, what it means to be human."

How and why can people communicate about some things via the arts that we can't communicate about otherwise? That question has pursued Dr. Tasha Golden since she was a touring singer-songwriter and realized the way in which her songs seemed to give audience members permission to share their own stories. Golden is currently the director of research at the International Arts + Mind Lab at Johns Hopkins University. For the new issue of American Artscape, she spoke with us about her aha! moment, the role of the arts in community, and what she thinks it means to live an artful life.