Open Letter to Musicians, Artists, Arts Educators
An Open Letter to Musicians, Artists and Arts Educators
(Although this letter is written with Berklee College of Music in Boston, MA as backdrop, it certainly can be generalized.)
We are at quite a critical crossroads with such massive upheaval on every level across the world. Indeed as artists, musicians and educators the soil is incredibly fertile with new possibility that will take great feats of creativity and leadership if the seedlings are to sprout and find the light! As much as it is terrible, it is very clear to me that this break down offers great opportunity. I mean, perhaps we really will have effective green cars (and industries) and be much less dependent on oil, perhaps we will enact legislation (and carry it out responsibly) that won’t allow people like Bernie Madoff and giant corporations to make so much more money than the rest of the population, maybe we really will have some sort of socialized health care, maybe the US could take its amazing power and lead the way in transforming the centuries old mantra of fear/domination/war to trust/compassion/peace, maybe, just maybe the world will be able to make the deep fundamental changes that need to be made, not just to bail out and patch up the broken system, so that we can all live much more healthy lives liberated from the cruel rat race of produce, produce, produce – consume, consume, consume.
As for Berklee in specific, perhaps we will be able to increase financial aid to $20 million and offer school for $5K a year or something like that so that our graduates aren’t immediately strapped with crippling debt the minute they step out the door. This is the scenario for all of education in the US these days (crippling debt), but for it to be the norm for musicians and artists who 1) have far less earning potential than many others who pursue more ‘practical’ careers, 2) need alot of free time to develop their art, it is the ultimate slap in the face giving the deep message that society doesn’t support what they (what we) do.