Courtesy of our [very] social media, everyone has likely seen or heard of the disputed quote from Winston Churchill:
Churchill responding to a plan to cut money for the arts to fund the war effort by saying: "Then what are we fighting for?"
Whether he said those words or not - the sentiment resonates. We have increasing difficulty protecting the arts not from war per se but from the effects of the commercial marketplace - and of course, that really can't be done either, because art makers need to eat and earn their way. Maybe it's the disconnect between art and the the makers thereof, or the commoditizing of every single thing, or the art-appreciation-industrial complex - who knows what the source is of the dissonance we might describe as: "we know the arts are important, but we can't really say why." Whatever the multiple sources are, it is beyond dispute that the university continues to play a crucial role in acculturating its students, who in turn will become leaders in society. It's part of the academy's mission and campus is where we pick up lifelong [and life-affirming] habits. The arts are an integral part of your education, no matter who you are, where you are from or what your specialized area of interest. Do not leave here without participating in or enjoying performances, exhibitions and lectures - nor without getting to know some of the people behind them. This is one situation where there is actually quite a bit at stake.
As we hit on last week and in today's newsletter from the dean, this week UGA puts its Spotlight on the Arts:
In addition to the more than 50 events sponsored by the UGA Arts Council and its members during the 2015 Spotlight on the Arts festival, nearly two dozen events have been organized and produced by students, including a day filled with arts performances at Tate Plaza.
This year's all-day Student Spotlight Main Event on Nov. 5 will include dance, drama, improv acts and music performances ranging from a percussion trio to a jazz quintet and an a cappella group of ecology students. The Hodgson Wind Ensemble will appear for the second consecutive year for a session allowing passing students to take the baton and "Conduct us!"
This is all for you and especially to draw attention to an aspect of university life that is strictly voluntary and perfectly enriching. Get out there and see, hear, watch and enjoy.