20pluscommunitydigestion

There is a great difference in excellency, usefulness, and comfort between people of clear, digested knowledge, and confused, undigested apprehensions. -Richard Baxter

why art is important

as a follow-up to the post from a few days ago on why we read, here’s a transcript of a commencement address at Stanford University this last June given by Director of the National Endowment for the Arts, Dana Gioia. (It’s a man with a name I can’t pronounce).

It’s a call to renew one’s interest in the arts, not to be confused with pure entertainment. While he isn’t dismissive of things on the boob-tube, he laments the sheer ignorance of the expressions not given to commercial interruption or season finales.

He also makes a very provocative point regarding the kinds of lives lived by two distinct groups: those who are largely passive consumers and electronic-bingers, and those who have an appreciation for the less packaged art-forms. You may be surprised to hear what different lives they live. Perhaps, even a bit convicted.

Anyhow, if art reflects life, and life in its myriad forms reflects God (Ps 19 as but one corroborative comment), then art-appreciation is more than a pursuit of well-roundedness; it’s worship.

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