January 8, 2021
YES! We All Deserve the Arts
2020 has been a bad year. A really bad year. A year that found all of us suffering from one degree or the other of profound anxiety, loneliness, grief and hopelessness. Yet there was one force resilient and powerful enough to penetrate the gloom. It connected and soothed, brought light into darkness, gave a feeling of hope where there was none; made us feel joyful, if only for a short time.
The arts – and all forms of creative expression.
A single operatic voice floating through the air from a balcony; others joining in, creating a symphony of connection and joy: virtual art exhibitions that transcended the barriers of place-based galleries, musicians performing in perfect unison from times zones apart, neighborhood voices singing in salute and thankfulness to the doctors and first responders who have worked tirelessly for all of us, theatre brought into our homes, children’s choirs singing from rooftops, dancers breathing new life into their craft.
Never has the uplifting spirit, transformational power and human need for the arts been so perfectly illustrated. And never have so many found a sense of wellbeing through the arts and creativity.
Creative expression through the arts is what distinguishes us as human beings. Art can be a connector. It is a powerful force, that can tell our truths and heal our hurt, bring hope to the darkest hours, chronicle lives and connect humanity, develop empathy, promote wellness and nurture those who live in chronic crisis.
Arts can speak the truth. Art can break down complex emotions and translate them in shorthand, as we witnessed after the murder of George Floyd, Breona Taylor and others. Art can be a tool for justice. Art can build empathy and tolerance.
Art can transport the maker to a an inner dimension that knows no limits and offers the imagination boundless opportunity for expression.
We all deserve the arts – that point should not be negotiable. We are hardwired to make art. It is sewn into the fabric of our beings and is found in every culture across the world. Art is an essential part of the human experience and must be part of every child’s education.
AEMS is committed to ensuring that all students in the state of Maryland have access to high quality arts education. We envision a public education system in Maryland that supports, cultivates, nurtures, and uplifts ALL students’ creativity through a robust arts education experience so that they can thrive in a healthy society.
The Board of Trustees, Quanice Floyd, our intrepid executive director, and our amazing staff work every minute of every day to fulfill that vision. We thank you for your support and hope you will continue to join us in our efforts.