In response to Trump's budget plan to eliminate the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Institute of Museum and Library Services, and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, I think this speech appropriately explains why they are a necessity, and eliminating them is not Making America Great Again.
"To the extent that artists struggle to express beauty in form and color and sound, to the extent that they write about man's struggle with nature or society, or himself, to that extent they strike a responsive chord in all humanity. Today, Sophocles speaks to us from more than 2,000 years. And in our own time, even when political communications have been strained, the Russian people have bought more than 20,000 copies of the works of Jack London, more than 10 million books of Mark Twain, and hundreds and thousands of copies of Hemingway, Steinbeck, Whitman, and Poe; and our own people, through the works of Tolstoy and Dostoievsky and Pasternak have gained an insight into the shared problems of the human heart.
We should not leave it up to the government to decide for us what the arts are worth. Now more than ever, it is important that we the people preserve and contribute to the arts - personally and collectively. Go paint, buy art, see a play, act out a scene, sing a song, write a poem, read a novel, play an instrument, rock out to a band, and dance... If you have a chance to sit it out or dance. I hope you dance your heart out. And as we nurture the next generation, let's personally give them the opportunity to contribute to the human spirit. As JFK said, it is what we will be remembered for, the arts - the human spirit - will live on.
President Lyndon B. Johnson believed this when he signed the Arts and Humanities Bill...
"In the long history of man, countless empires and nations have come and gone. Those which created no lasting works of art are reduced today to short footnotes in history's catalog.
Johnson and Kennedy built a foundation to prop up the arts in the United States. Less than 55 years later, the Trump Administration wants to eliminate it. Ignoring the purpose behind it: our responsibility to support contributions to the human spirit and helping create the nations most precious heritage. Politics have dramatically changed, but the citizens can make a difference to Trump's stance. We can keep the arts alive by personally getting involved.
We can make it so the arts flourish and not just survive.