My father hates the government. He will never be supportive of public funding for the arts. If he was to learn that the Piss Christ is not actually representative of most of what is actually being done, he wouldn't tell others not to support the arts. And if there was something nearby for him to see, he's probably actually go.
If there were more artistic events to attend in Cisco, Texas, not only would Patty, my mom, probably go--dragging along my stepfather and step-sister Candace--but she could also probably be swayed to call her congressman to support the arts more.
My stepfather Pat has seen three plays in his life. He liked all three. All three were in Chicago. They live in Texas. If there were plays for them to see that didn't require driving for two hours and paying outrageous ticket prices, they would attend regularly.
We need to shift the debate away from why arts funding matters to arts organizations and artists. We need to talk not about why arts funding matters to artists, but why it matters to Chuck and Lynn, why it matters to Pat and Patty.
And I will append that the best way to make sure there are more artistic events in Cisco Texas is NOT (or at least, not ONLY) to bring in a touring show from Houston, but to support some artists who actually live in Cisco so that Pat and Patty actually KNOW some artists, and thus KNOW that they are people just like them. This is such a simple concept -- why is it so hard to get it through people's heads???