Think what it would be like if all of a sudden we had no jazz clubs to attend, no hard rock music venues, no opera to listen to. And, how dreary it would be if we had no world renown St. Louis Symphony Orchestra, no summer musicals at the Muny Opera, no student choirs or student bands. Just imagine no art museum; no outdoor or indoor sculpture such as we have at Laumeier Park and City Garden; no theater; and in essence no entertainment. Oh, how grim and unhappy life would be!
A major part of our everyday encounters would disappear, the components that make us alive, excited, and truly engaged. For throughout history artistic endeavors exemplify the best of human expression.
A significant aspect of training artists, musicians, singers, and dancers depends on the continual funding of the arts where youngsters get their training and become the stream for future artistic expression. I fear that budgets across the region will experience major cuts this coming year, and so often the very first casualties are the arts. The long term effects could be the lack of artsí training, and the eventual loss of artistic expression.
So as our schools and our cultural institutions, along with the legislature, examine their budgets this coming year, let us voice our concerns that the artsí funding remain robust as it is through the arts that we define ourselves. Let this be a holiday season of gifts for all the arts in our St. Louis region. Happy holidays and may everyone enjoy one of our many cultural programs available to all this season.
(The opinions expressed are not necessarily those of St. Louis Public Radio.)
Susan Uchitelle is a consultant for the Voluntary Interdistrict Coordinating Council.