...it is not hyperbole to suggest that art, when applied at the community level, can be a powerful tool for re-establishing individual and community identity through a process that acknowledges the existence and fosters the development of local culture.
it's a splendid and logical role for art, given that it is so poorly suited for the creation of mass culture. whether we're talking about painting or dance, theatre or poetry, we're talking about something that is intimate in its scale and ability to accommodate an audience. this intimacy is tacit permission for artists (whether trained professionals or amateurs inspired by the presence of a professional) to deal with the specifics of the immediate world around them. it is this intimacy that gives a voice to a local culture.
i guess another way to say this is: serve. while i enjoy my arts with a healthy dose of spectacle, i believe that the artist's purpose, as well as their art's, purpose is to serve. self-expression in and of itself isn't the point. nor is therapy. it's about communication. connection. communion.
the arts give voice. what song shall we sing? choose your words (and images. and gestures. and sounds.) carefully. what is your art giving shape to?