• You Gotta Have Arts

    “Without art, the crudeness of reality would make the world unbearable.”

    • George Bernard Shaw

    In 1858 Oliver Wendell Holmes referred to Boston as the “Hub of the Universe”. He implied that Boston was the center of everything commercial and intellectual at that time. Fast forward 160 years and Boston is a world class city in many dimensions – education, health care, sports and the arts. Yes, we are also fortunate to be home for world class arts institutions. These include the BSO, Pops, Boston Ballet, Museum of Fine Arts and the American Repertory Theater. And don’t forget Western Massachusetts with Tanglewood and Jacob’s Pillow.

    The arts are a vital part of the Massachusetts’ “creative economy.” Few states are as rich in world-class arts institutions as Massachusetts. But, none of these institutions could exist without our financial support and patronage.

    Sadly, arts education is often one of the first programs to be eliminated because of budget constraints. Some say that educating our children in the arts is not practical given today’s economic realities. Children should be prepared for “real jobs”. Well, I’ve spent more than 40 years in business, and some of the most creative and successful business people I’ve known had a foundation in one or more of the arts.

    I must admit that I can’t sing, dance, play a musical instrument or draw a straight line. Despite being artistically challenged, I really admire those with artistic talent. Those that perform on stage are the elite of the elite. They have dedicated tens of thousands of hours of practice to their passion and their parents made critical sacrifices to support their dreams. The arts are the cornerstone of our civilized society and nourishment for the soul.

    This fall visit a museum, attend the ballet or symphony or go to the theater (and bring a friend or child). The time will be well spent. You will feel good. So, let me add my voice (as off key as it may be) to the chorus that sings, “You Gotta Have Arts.”

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