Are the Arts the Best Hope for America?

Posted by Americans for the Arts, Aug 17, 2010 2 comments

Derrick Ashong thinks so.  Ashong spent his formative years living in several countries abroad, as well as a number of U.S. cities before attending Harvard. Fully prepared to continue his education by getting a PhD, Derrick found himself drawn toward advocacy instead. After winning Billboard Magazine’s 2007 World Song Writing Competition and founding his band Soulfège, Derrick dedicated himself to advocacy fulltime. This commitment found him as the host of his own show on Oprah radio, starting Take Back the Mic, a youth empowerment organization, and speaking to audiences all over the world.

Earlier this summer, Derrick spoke during Americans for the Arts Annual Convention in Baltimore and posed a new challenge. We, as advocates for the arts, need to shift our position from people who are in need of help, to the position that our nation needs what we offering. We are the best hope for America. So often we focus on the fact that the arts are under attack and request that anyone and everyone support us before we disappear instead of focusing on all that the arts contributes. Visit the Arts Action Fund website to listen to what Derrick Ashong has to say and let us know what you think.

2 responses for Are the Arts the Best Hope for America?


August 17, 2010 at 12:08 pm

Exactly. We need to re-ingrain the importance of the arts themselves on a meta-societal level if we are to save them. Banging on doors and shaking cans isn't doing it, no matter how fancy the door, or how big the can.

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August 18, 2010 at 5:15 pm

Where is the best resource to find the tools to re-educate the public to a new message about the arts? We want to launch a campaign in our county and are looking for direction. I like the concept to speak from a place of assumed relevance and value than from a place of pleading:)

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