Monday, March 09, 2009

Wow! Theresa Larkin on the NEA

Tom Loughlin does us all a service by reprinting Theresa Larkin's profound and moving response to the LA Times' "IF You Ran the NEA" article. I suspect that the author is Theresa Larkin of the California State University, Los Angeles Theatre and Dance Department. I urge you with all my heart to read the entire post. When I read something so literate and powerful, I consider shutting down Theatre Ideas as a sorry job. Here is the last couple paragraphs of Larkin's comment:

In the history of the world, the best artist, in every society, emerges as a sage, a truth teller, a heartfelt communicator, and a caring teaching practitioner who lives to give back to the community. Someone seeking a unique way to celebrate and interpret the times he/she/we are living. However, throughout time and to this present moment, too many truly talented people are never able to reach their true creative and artistic potential, are never developed primarily because of the lack of funding and the fierce competitiveness that suppresses more egalitarian noncompetitive artists and practitioners.

Each citizen in our country needs to seriously consider why we are so easily manipulated, so deeply in debt, so alienated from one another, so cynical, so frightened, so addicted, so intolerant, so filled with hate, so unfaithful, so disdainful of the “other”, and so violent. My answer is we do not know one another. We only know the other when we dialogue. We do not dialogue until we share a positive growth experience. But most of the time we do not talk with one another. We do not share. We do not create. And as a result, we do not care about one another or the world.

The arts can create a more purposeful dialogue. Greater caring can result.

[Note: I was right. Soon-to-be-Dr. Larkin is a professor at California State in LA. Another smart, committed, articulate theatre professor like Tom Loughlin. Things are looking up!]

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Think Again: Funding and Budgets in the Arts

Every once in a while, I think I'll post a link or two to posts written earlier in the life of Theatre Ideas that seem worth revisiting ...