Are the Arts the Best Hope for America?
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.