As most of you know, I am an artist. But what you don’t know is that I gave up on my art path when I went to high school. In Ukraine there was almost no support for art sector from the government and there was no future for me to become an artist there. However, when I came to Canada I was astonished by the cultural life in this country. I immediately discovered countless festivals, concerts, exhibitions, workshops, networking opportunities. And later I discovered, that most of this became possible with great support from government and businesses. So in this blog post I want to tell you why investing in art is important.
First of all art provides cultural enrichment. Art is a mirror reflecting a society's values, beliefs, and history. It tells our story and preserves our cultural heritage. By investing in art, the government can ensure that our cultural legacy is passed on to future generations. The artworks, literature, music, and performances that receive support can enrich our lives and remind us of who we are.
Art is a powerful medium for individuals to express themselves, sparking creativity and innovation. When artists are encouraged and supported, they can create works that challenge the status quo, inspire new ideas, and push boundaries. This spirit of creative expression fuels progress in various fields, from technology to social change. Art education fosters critical thinking, problem-solving, and empathy. It equips students with skills that are valuable in any career. By supporting art in schools and communities, the government empowers individuals to think creatively, appreciate diverse perspectives, and engage in the world more thoughtfully.
The arts are not just a source of cultural wealth; they also contribute significantly to the economy. Museums, galleries, theaters, and cultural events attract tourists and generate revenue. Artists and those in the creative industry provide jobs and boost local businesses. Investing in art can foster growth in both urban and rural areas. For example non profit cultural organizations in Toronto, generate 230 million dollars in ticket sales per year. Another example is Word of Threads festival in Oakville which is going on now in QEPCC. In 2018 this festival had 60000 visitors from Canada regions and from around the world.
The last reason why government should invest in art is because art creates a community. Art has the power to bring people together, removing cultural, social, and political boundaries. It encourages dialogue and understanding. By investing in art, the government can promote social cohesion and community-building. Cultural events and public art projects create spaces for people to connect, celebrate diversity, and find common ground. Art motivates newcomers participation because it cross language barriers. In addition, it helps understand other cultures.
In conclusion, government investment in art is not an expense but a wise investment in our culture, creativity, economy, and community building. To prove it I want to mention results of recent pol conducted by Ontario Art Council. The results of the poll discovered, that 79% of Ontarians agreed that art is important for their mental health, almost 90% agreed that active art scene helps making community a better place to live and creates a sense of community identity, and 96% agreed that engaging children in art improves their overall development. Therefore, art is an investment in our shared history and our collective future. To foster a thriving, enriched, and united society, we should prioritize and support the arts at every level of government.