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Why are the arts important to you?

Our friends at Columbia Center for the Arts recently asked that question and these were a few of the answers they received.


Art is important – Support your local artists, art teachers and art centers!

Why the Arts Matter in Medford, Oregon and Beyond

art matters logo southern oregon artists resource

You are invited to attend the free Art Salon and Panel Discussion on May 21 from 6:30 – 8pm, Rogue Gallery and art Center, 40 Bartlett Street, Medford, Oregon.

“Art is life, art is beauty, art makes you think, art changes people, art transforms communities, art opens your mind, life imitates art” -BNG

Join an informal alliance of southern Oregon arts leaders from the Ashland Art Center, Grants Pass Museum of Art, Jacksonville’s Art Presence Art Center and Rogue Gallery and Art Center, the Southern Oregon Artists Resource and more for the first in a series of discussions about the many reasons why the arts matter to our communities. Learn why the arts are vital to our quality of life, education, economy and let your own voice be heard by people who influence local arts policy and funding at this informal FREE public gathering!

Future salons will be hosted by

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Art Matters Salon and Panel Discussion at RGAC May 21!

Join southern Oregon art community leaders for a discussion of the importance of art to individuals, kids, education, local economies, people with disabilities and the broader community! Share why art matters to YOU in an informal setting and hear why others value art too. Let your voice be heard by people who have influence in southern Oregon arts policy! arts-matter-salon-announcement_may-21

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Art Matters! to Communities…

Hannah West, founding editor of Art Matters!, recently wrote an article based on recent research into the positive impact of the arts on our state, local and national economies, the economic benefit from and demand for cultural tourism, and the power of the arts in education. Her piece now appears in the February issue of the Jacksonville Review; we’ll republish it here after their circulation has had a chance to see it in the paper.

Meanwhile, if you find yourself in Jacksonville this month, pick up a copy of the Review at any news stand in town. We’re looking forward to seeing if they also post it at their own website, and, now that the paper is on the street but the website hasn’t yet been updated, we are confident that they will. Once it appears we hope you will contribute your own thoughts in the comments. We’ll

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My response to the NEA's call to cast votes on their 2012 policies

NEA Policy Vote 2012

This morning I sat down intending to go straight to work on the website project that’s feeding my family right now. Opening Thunderbird to read my email, the first thing that caught my eye was one from the National Endowment for the Arts asking members to cast votes approving or disapproving the NEA’s 2012 art policies. Of course I clicked the link, expressed my approval and began to write in the “additional comments” field. Getting caught up in my passion for the arts, I wound up writing more than I had intended, so I’m sharing it in the event that some of you might find it an informative case for the importance of the arts in our lives.

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Reclaiming Art

In using arts and culture to build community, we often forget that the greatest resource isn’t necessarily the program we design, or the object we create, or the idea we generate. It is the people themselves. We somehow forget that art is theirs; that for a very long time now people have intuitively used it […]

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Artist helps others after death of brother with schizophrenia

AN AFRICAN artist is determined to inspire people with mental health issues after her brother died suddenly five years ago. The tragedy prompted the artist, nicknamed Emkay, to study art therapy at the University of Hertfordshire where she is learning to help people struggling with self-harm to express themselves through art.

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What Art Therapy Learned from September 11th

Art theorist and perceptual psychologist Rudolph Arnheim once noted, “Art serves as a helper in times of trouble.” The events of September 11th, 2001 opened the door to understanding a lot more about how art serves as a helper in times of profound cris…

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Art for Life’s Sake: The Necessity of Making and Viewing Art, from the Venetian Red Art Blog

Ellen Dissanayake « Venetian Red Art Blog, By LIZ HAGER. Originally posted March 10, 2010

Yesterday, the formal remarks of Bay Area sculptor Bruce Beasley at an Art in Action event reminded me once again of the absolute necessity to humankind of making and viewing art.

Beasley acknowledged that he was preaching to the choir; the room was filled with artists, educators, and parents sympathetic to the mission of Art in Action, which for 28 years has been bringing an otherwise-absent art curriculum into K-8 grades throughout the country.

A sea of heads bobbed in assent as Beasley talked about the right/left-brain dichotomy. Today there is much empirical evidence pointing to the hemispherical location of various cognitive tasks—sequential processing (left brain) versus parallel processing (right brain); rational versus intuitive thinking; recognition of parts versus recognition of the whole; rational thinking versus spatial recognition; words (labels) versus pictures (images).

Why should

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