LETTER: Some would disagree that the arts don't have value
To the Editor:
I want to respond to Commissioner Jim Womack's comment from a recent budget workshop: "I am not interested in multicultural programs in the arts. I am not sure that adds value to the community.” However, instead of using my own words, I am choosing to use the words of people with a little more experience and knowledge than I.
"That is the power of the arts — to remind us of what we each have to offer, and what we all have in common; to help us understand our history and imagine our future; to give us hope in the moments of struggle; and to bring us together when nothing else will." — Michelle Obama
"In an era when businesses are constantly struggling to find creative ways to stay at the top of their market, arts education can be a powerful tool to nurture the creative abilities of our young people, ensuring they are ready for the skills that are in demand." — Lisa Phillps, The Washington Post
"If they're worried about their test scores and want a way to get them higher, they need to give kids more arts, not less. There's lots of evidence that kids immersed in the arts do better on their academic tests." — Tom Horne, Arizona's state superintendent of public instruction
"Temple Theatre gives back to the community by serving over 5,550 area youth through a myriad of programming, by creating classic, professional theatre to serve over 30,000 patrons each season. Temple's economic impact is over $1.4 million annually to Lee County as is its number one year-round tourist attraction." — Temple Theatre website
Perhaps Mr. Womack should take a closer look at the arts he feels are unimportant.