Survey of Arts Management

Course blog for American University PERF-570, Fall 2014

A(nother) Happy Reminder of Art Saving Lives

When I initially saw Alex’s post, I was mad because I thought that was the story I wanted to share! But, (not so surprisingly) there are two happy reminders this week of art saving lives. This story from HuffPo is the one I actually wanted to share.

So often, we get caught up in metrics and finding ways to justify the mere existence of the arts. “$7 return for every dollar invested.” or “The arts mean jobs.” or “Kids in arts do better on tests.” No longer. Here’s my new go-to justification: art saves lives!

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6 comments on “A(nother) Happy Reminder of Art Saving Lives

  1. carolynsupinka18
    October 23, 2014

    This is a really lovely story. I bet there are many more similar instances from celebrities and everyday people alike where a work of art changed a life for the better. Even if the change it instigates is less drastic than preventing suicide, even if it just makes you think about something in a different way, it’s been worth it. I can think of several pieces that completely changed my life: paintings, a movie, several books, and a poem. Thanks for this story, Benjamen! It really made me smile.
    This is a really lovely poem by Charles Bukowski, animated. I look at it whenever I need to feel better:

    • gaochang619
      October 24, 2014

      Oh…It touched me in my deepest heart T T

  2. gaochang619
    October 24, 2014

    Thank you Benjamen! At first I saw your headline I supposed it to be an arts& healing program thing, but I found it more focused on the core motivation of arts. The post recalled many good memories about different arts in my life.
    You guys all share illuminating stories of why we are struggling for arts in spite of the career prospect or return rate or stuff like that. Both artists and arts managers are changed by arts and are trying to convey their thoughts and emotions on arts to others. I believe that is what makes our work so meaningful.

  3. hgenetos
    October 24, 2014

    Thank you for sharing this Benjamen. I love moments like this. My friend is a psychology doctorate student in Chicago. She has been using several methods in hopes of a breakthrough with one patient. She noticed he would never vocalize his feelings. She and he had a talk about how he could figure out a way to express what he is feeling. He decided he wanted to start painting, and she reached out to me about art therapy and what I knew. Yesterday he gave her his first piece that he wanted to share. It is similar to a blue period Picasso. It has such power and emotion. I wish I could share it with everyone, but I’d like to respect his privacy. Art does save lives.

    It also reminds me of an exhibit I saw this summer and shared in my Diverse Communities class. It was a serious of large post it notes throughout the Rijksmuseum with inner monologues written on them expressing our worst or most shameful thoughts or even our happy thoughts.

    https://www.rijksmuseum.nl/en/art-is-therapy

  4. sarasps85
    October 24, 2014

    What a good read. Thank you. Bill Murray inspires me a lot actually, there is something about him.
    As a performing arts “child” I feel very comfortable inside a theatre and even if a performance doesn’t interests me, artistically speaking, I stay inside until I understand exactly why I am not enjoying it.
    I get out of a theatre either full of doubts or full of certainties. The thing is: I need to take something with me and that “something” is what´s capable to change my life. So yes…art saves lives!!!

  5. amyjoforeman
    October 24, 2014

    “I get another chance every day the sun comes up.” – That’s really powerful. I love that this piece of art had a powerful impact on Bill Murray and he can continue to reference this exact moment, having an impact on an even larger audience. You go Bill Murray! He can do no wrong!!!

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