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Saturday, January 17, 2009

Looking Through The Kaleidoscope #8: Me & Mr. Jones

While I realize that this isn't a traditional entry from me, I still thought this would be a great forum for what I have to say and that the Kaleidoscope family would appreciate something of this nature.

As some of you might have heard, music producer Quincy Jones was quoted in saying that the next conversation he has with our soon-to-be President Obama will be to beg him to have a Minister of the Arts as a government position, which is otherwise known as a Minister of Culture in other countries.

Obama has made it pretty clear that he supports the Arts in his platform, which is not necessarily good for just Kaleidoscope but as a nation as a whole. From what I understand, Obama is supporting the Arts through three main tactics:

  1. He wants to expand public/private partnerships between schools and arts organizations.
  2. He wants to start Artists Corps, which is, from what I can tell, a sort of art-focused Peace Corps.
  3. He is publicly championing the importance of arts education.
Already I am glad with what President Obama intends on doing and I hope it gets down. Support of the arts on a national level would hopefully mean support for Kaleidoscope in the long run, meaning Kaleidoscope could continue to serve the community in the many ways that it does. If the President-elect is a serious about the arts as he claims he is, then I think having a Minister of Culture/Arts would be something extremely worthwhile. Our nation is facing a lot right now and Obama is certainly going to be working hard, yet it is hard to say how high of a priority his Arts platform will be. Having a Minister of Culture/Arts might be just the thing to get things rolling for the Arts and still be able to focus on more prominent issues. In fact, I think there is almost a need to have things happening simultaneously because the Arts have helped our nation in the past and if utilized properly they can help our nation again. For a little history lesson, look up the Federal Art Project, which supported artists during the Great Depression.

The main thing I want to get at here is that Quincy Jones' remarks have sparked an online petition to get a Minister of Culture/Arts into our government. I think signing it would be very worthwhile and I hope everyone in the Kaleidoscope family agrees and will do so.

Here's a few links for you:

The Petition: Please consider signing.

Obama's call to arts: For those interested in Obama's Arts platform, here is an article from The Christian Science Monitor.

Thanks to all in advance who sign the petition. I wouldn't have asked you all if I didn't think it was important. I promise to get blogging about more Kaleidoscope stuff soon, including:

  • Upcoming work on school tours
  • Some more fairy tale musical performances, and finally (dun dun DUN)
  • working on an audio script for Cinderella! That's right, David and Bobby liked my idea from my last post.
In the words of Garrison Keillor, "be well, do good work, and keep in touch."

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