Arts & America: 1780–2015
"The story of the arts and the communities of America is a love story spooled out over the entire history of the nation. It has all of the hallmarks of a Shakespearean play, as yet unresolved as a comedy or a tragedy, unknown in nature for the fact that it is chronically lacking in the moment when all the threads tie together. That part is still being written, and like all of history, it’s impossible to actually see how far from the satisfactory end we are.
Like many love stories that have gone on for some time, the story of the arts and the communities of America is one of resounding, repeating familiarity—of getting close, of being pushed away, of coming to the rescue, of healing the heart and then being pushed aside when health has returned, of taking each other for granted, of walking away, of coming back. Both the art makers and the community builders have approached each other with short memories, learning each others’ quirks and specialties anew every time—each moment a little different and yet somehow the same—a recurring dream, naïve reunion worthy of the best Elizabethan prose." [p.1]
First essay in the book Arts & America: Arts, Culture, and the Future of America’s Communities featuring an introduction by Americans for the Arts CEO Robert L. Lynch. The full book can be purchased in Americans for the Arts online store.