The steering committee for The San Juan County Arts Council has selected a slate of candidates for its first ever Board of Directors, to be voted upon by the membership at its first membership meeting next month, November 3, 2011. This will be a truly historic occasion.
It will constitute the final actions of the steering committee in its long and dedicated work to bring this council to realization. But more than that, it will be the inauguration of an entity whose purpose shall be to support, protect and advocate for the arts and to focus attention on the vital link that exists between the health of the arts and the health of a community and its individual members.
This, coming at a time when government cuts in funding for the arts and to arts in education threaten to destroy the cultural balance necessary to a healthy, thriving nation, is an event of which our island community can be truly proud!
There is an enormous amount of evidence to prove that the arts are not just frills on the edges of society, but are, rather, an extraordinary economic stimulus, in addition to the vital role they play in humanizing a culture.
In particular, the importance of art in education cannot be overemphasized.
The author of “Strong Arts, Strong Schools,” and outspoken advocate of arts in education, Charles Fowler, wrote, “Because the arts cultivate the imaginative thought processes – the source of creativity – they energize the motivation to learn. These mental capacities are basic to competitive success in a global economy.”
I am deeply proud of the hardworking people in this community who created this Council and honored to be a part of the work that it is committed to doing to protect, support and honor the arts.