Riva Capellari

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Located in Brookside in the heart of Kansas City

Raison d’etre

There are days when I question the importance and worthiness of what I do.

It seems to pale against the everyday heroisms of first responders and emergency care staff, journalists risking their lives to cover war and lawyers defending those who have no voice. So coming upon this ArtsBlog by Randy Cohen helped me to gain a renew-ed perspective on the arts and their importance.

From an economic standpoint, non-profit arts generate $135 billion and create 4.1 million jobs. Art events and institutions attract new residents and tourists, raising the tax base and bringing in additional revenue to local merchants respectively. The U.S. exported about $75 billion worth of art, like movies, in 2012 and employed 2.9 million people along the way.

I mention the financial plus first because for many that is the bottom line. However,there are so many other amazing reasons for the arts to exist.

Scholastically, students exposed to the arts, who take part in artisitc endeavors, have higher GPAs, higher test scores and a lower drop-out rate. Hospitals now provide arts programs for staff as well as patients. This results in shorter hospital stays, better pain management and fewer prescribed medications. Music leads to increased cognitive function in dementia patients. Veterans adjusting to civilian life find solace and support through arts programs geared towards them.

Employers are now seeking prospective hires who have arts degrees. They believe their creative instincts lead to innovation and a new approach to problem solving.

Cities with arts organizations have greater civil engagement and develop stronger community ties between cultures, race, religion and age. Small, rural areas that cannot afford to support their own arts institutions benefit from the “ripple effect” created when arts organizations from large municipalities travel throughout the region providing arts programming and events.

My favorite reason however, is Mr. Cohen’s belief that the arts “ennoble and inspire us”, that they are “fundamental to our humanity”. The universal language of the arts cuts across our differences and gets to the core of our humanness. The personal expression emboded in the arts resonates with us all. Ten Reasons to Support the Arts. Randy Cohen.

KC Star, June 15, 2010. Music uncovers past buried by dementia”. Bradley, Donald.

Art unifies, transcends borders, connects the disconnected, eliminates status, soothes turmoil, threatens power and the status quo and gloriously exalts the spirit. Art is a valiant path to peace”.

Joyce DiDinato

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