Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Arts Education vs. Great Works

Yes, I am late. Anyhow, I came across this very interesting post on Richard Kessler's blog, Dewey21c, digesting a post by David Byrne.  Mr. Byrne suggests we cut government funding for the work of "old dead guys" in lieu of arts education. (Read the comments, totally valuable and/or entertaining).  Quite frankly, I don't even think there is a debate here because as two sides of the same coin, you can't really pit one against the other.  If you want to teach a young soul arts so they can grow up to create new art, you're going to have to expose them to old art so they have a framework.  You just don't get Shakespeare until you see it performed, because it's meant to be performed, not read from a book at a desk!
This got me thinking about all the other "old dead guys" I've enjoyed in my lifetime:  Vivaldi, Mozart, Wagner (oh wait, no I did NOT enjoy Wagner).  Of course the Musical Theatre greats: Gilbert and Sullivan (technically operetta but close), Rogers, Hammerstein, Kern, Hart, Cole Porter.  It was in this moment when I realized how many great Musical Theater greats aren't in fact "old dead guys" but very alive, (and potentially stalk-able) old guys.  (This is the part where I talk myself out of stalking Steven Schwartz)
How cool is it, that of all the performing arts, Broadway, is the one place where living artists are selling more tickets than dead ones!  Good for you theater artists, good for you. (Stay alive, in this business your art will not sell itself, you have to sell yourself :) fun, right?)

No comments:

Post a Comment