Kim Stewart

Canadian Métis Artist

bc art funding

Are 'the Arts' necessary?

my opinionsKim Stewart1 Comment

When I'm thirsty I drink, when I'm hungry I eat. When I want to make art, I usually have to wait, and yet the urgency is there. I actually feel physical and mental pain if I do not create and after a while, if I continue to deny myself I begin to feel like I am dying inside. I have given up trying to understand why, although I still occasionally ask the question. I have found myself on a beach with rocks, sticks and water and that was all I needed. Dipping the stick in the water, I would then, quickly place it against a large stone and begin to make marks. The currents in the air would whisk them away as quickly as they appeared. If I have sand and my fingers, I work with those. Rocks are fine by themselves too. Anything really. Apparently my activity and the activity of other artists in all walks is greatly enjoyed by large numbers of the population.

One thing that robs me of my joyful activity is hearing harsh criticism of the act of creating, or worse yet, an overall indifference to the beauty, color and emotion in art, and I mean all art - music, writing, photography, theatre, gaming. Think about how many times you might interact with words, sounds or visuals, in books, on TV, in our theatres, on the internet,  that are the result of creative activities. Is it true that there are people who do not understand what it means to cut funding to 'the arts' by 90%? The British Columbian Provincial Government has not thought this suggestion through. Clearly they have no grasp of what the result will be. Without artists and creativity, none of what we see, including their own campaign ads, would be the same. Art is on cereal boxes, on milk cartons, in video games...someone has to draw all those characters! Art is on your iphone, your cell phone interface, your blackberry, your facebook page. There is music in your ringtones, your Opera, your movie, your hockey game! If young people do not have access to arts education due to lack of funding, this province will be stifling the great minds of our youth. Young people will not be aware of all the fabulous and interested careers that exist in the arts! Galleries and music lessons are where they (the youth) begin.and while they are clawing back arts funding, The BC Government might as well beef up their health budget for increased dementia, and depression, that's bound to increase as well, oh, and be sure to add some of that 90% claw back to the provincial law enforcement...especially since someone in the BC ruling party feels its better to keep moping up the growing mess created by gang and criminal activity after it happens than to prevent it in the first place with arts intervention activities.

But all ranting aside, really think for a moment about all the ways creativity impacts your life on a daily basis and tell me honesty whether or not we can afford to be without the arts. I think you know where I stand! Check out the Speaking out against the BC Arts Cuts website and see who supports the arts. The photos are interesting and telling! and please, tell me this is just a bad dream!