Letter to the editor: What about arts? humanities?

"Not What It Seems" by Britney

To the editor:

What about the arts and the humanities?

I’m glad to see the overwhelming support the community is giving to the sports and vocational programs at the high school. I’m grateful for the DMACC facility behind the library. While vocational training and physical fitness are important, what seems to me to be lacking are programs and classes for the arts, literature and speech.

Perhaps there are wonderful opportunities for our young adults to enrich themselves by the appreciation of the arts, multiple and varied musical genres, the great authors, artisans, painters, sculptors as well as the great thinkers and philsophers of the world. If so, I am not aware of them.

Granted, gainful employment is more readily acquired by those who have been thoroughly educated, but the liberal arts don’t seem to me to be given much stress today at all. How truly complete are their lives without at least a minimal appreciation of the humanities?

What are these young people reading at school? How adept are they at public speaking? Just what do they know how to do besides take tests, use a computer, lift weights or install new auto transmissions?

These things are no less important to our society at large. Winston Churchill himself said, “The arts are essential to any complete national life. The State owes it to itself to sustain and encourage them. ”

Yes, technical and vocational training are the essential infrastructure of our society, but those things alone do not make for a truly great nation any more than a bare skeleton makes for a whole body.

Yes, job security, good health and economic responsibility make for a great picture frame as well as the canvas, brushes and paints, but they are of no worth when the artist does not appreciate and is unable to paint anything more than stick men.

Nick Eakins


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