“Art is a nation’s most precious heritage. For it is in our works of art that we reveal to ourselves and to others the inner vision which guides us as a nation. And where there is no vision, the people perish.”
— President Lyndon Johnson on signing into existence the National Endowment on the Arts
You might not immediately think of historians, statesmen, industrialists and economists as champions of the arts. In fact, they were among the first to recognize the value that the arts bring to the people.
As we study the way our country evolved, we find John Adams, George Washington and Thomas Jefferson fervent in their support of those who could paint, sing, sculpt, act or perform.
On Thursday, Joplin Mayor Melodee Colbert-Kean proclaimed October as Arts and Humanities Month in the city of Joplin, making our town part of the celebration of National Arts and Humanities Month.
There’s no doubt that public interest in the arts is growing throughout our area. A large number of art venues and organizations have had a real impact, particularly in Joplin’s recovery from the tornado.
Rich in talent and imagination, artists and performers bring with them the tools to reinvigorate the economy, fashion a vision for future growth or simply mend broken spirits.
If you, like us, believe in the power of the arts, please take time this month to visit an art gallery, attend a play, applaud at a ballet, get lost in an opera or simply open a book of poetry.
By the way, you can do all of those things without having to travel outside the area.
Our Founding Fathers recognized the importance of the arts and made sure we would have the freedom to pursue creativity to the fullest.
What are you waiting for? It’s all here for you to enjoy.