As we near the end of our 25th anniversary, I wonder what the next quarter century holds for our museum? In this digital era of games, blogs, website, and videos that lie within inches of our grasp, actually visiting a building that has art on its walls seems, well, almost prosaic. Why go there? What’s the point?
I work for a museum, so I’m obviously convinced that museums offer something essential and important. But how do I articulate this to others? The internet has fantastic resources on this one, especially as we emerge from the Great Recession. During that hard time, people struggled with supporting the arts. Lots of blogging on this topic. Many asked, “When my neighbors are lacking food and housing and health care, why should I care about the arts?”
I found a fitting answer from Mary Boone of the Huffington Post published just as the markets slid in the fall of 2008. “In looking at art, we reconnect with our inner spirit, a spirit that is rich in thoughts, feelings, and dreams, a spirit that can’t be bankrupted.” During hard times like those many of us have recently experienced (or are still), art soothes and inspires. In fact, one could argue, no better time to support the arts than during difficult times.
There are many, many more good reasons to visit art. If you’re passionate about education, for example, see here http://www.artsattack.com/why-art-matters. You’ll be compelled to take your kids or friends to the nearest museum, pronto. In that happy event, I look forward to seeing you. I’ll be there, too.
Ponteir Sackrey, Barnes Family Director of Development & Markerting