Art allows us to examine what it means to be human to voice and express and to bring people and ideas together.
As we rise to the challenge of our new formal of life in a global pandemic, we are seeing more clearly what needs to change in our pre-COVID-19 Society.
We are still experiencing a global pandemic. In times of crises, we need humanity, expression, and the community that the arts create.
All around the world, COVID-19 has shed light on our economic, social and political systems. We are realizing the economic implications of relying on minimum wage “essential “jobs. We are seeing disease become politicized, and we are seeing a growing mental health crisis as a response to COVID-19.
What we put our energy and efforts into now will affect what our future looks like. In campaigning for arts support, the Colorado Business Committee for the Arts stated, “The values we support today will determine what we have when this is over.”
This is a time to value the arts. Whether big or small, sidewalk chalk art or community murals, art makes a difference in how we live our lives.
The arts create wellness in our day-to-day lives by helping us process our lives individually and allowing us to come together collectively. Art allows us to communicate from afar, generating positivity, appreciation and hope during COVID-19. In times of social injustice and unrest, art amplifies important voices and messages.
In a tumultuous world, art matters. Here’s why.
- Art is an expression of what it means to be human
Art-making and viewing art allows us to process our experiences. Art helps us to express and to understand the world around us.
Ancient humans not only recorded their lives through art, but they also used art to express themselves. We do this today, too—the arts create community by depicting shared events and to express our individual perspectives.
We define our human experience by the cultures we create and participate in. Culture, made up of customs, social interactions, and activities, is fuelled by the arts. Be it music, food, or visual arts, culture and the arts are inseparable.
We are seeing an increased turn to the arts during the COVID-19 pandemic. Globally, we have turned to art engagement as a source of comfort and strength. Participating in and viewing art makes us connect to a more universal human experience. Be it art-making at home, public murals, watching and listening to plays and music, or new-found interests in culinary arts, art is an expression of what it means to be human.
- Art is good for our health
While you are enjoying art viewing and engaging with different perspectives from home, revel in the knowledge that you are being healthy!
It is a proven tool for stress reduction and wellbeing. There are countless studies into the physical and mental benefits of making art, and the benefits of even looking at an artwork. Making and looking at art has long-term effects like boosting our brain function and our immune systems as well as contributing positively to our mental and emotional health. Art helps us process trauma, express difficult feelings, and work through experiences.
- Art helps to quickly communicate ideas through memorable visuals.
Public art can be used as a directive tool in a crisis to benefit our general wellbeing. When artists create public art featuring masks to reflect our current experiences, they send a powerful message to the public.
It guides and signals how people should interact and behave within a space. Visual cues help us understand how we fit into space and make statements about what a community value.
- Art fosters understanding between communities
As we globally grapple with inequalities that have always existed but are more visible and striking in the past weeks, we are seeing art being used as a tool to create stronger communities. Art can allow us to not just understand ourselves, but to understand each other on a deeper level.
- We need the arts in difficult times
Art reminds us that we are not alone and that we share a universal human experience. Through art, we feel deep emotions together and are able to process experiences, find connections, and create impact.
It also helps us to record and process more than just individual experiences. Marking art documents, the world around us and allows us to work through how we are a part of it. Art making is half of it—we also need to photograph, share, and record these creations so that they will live on throughout history. Every artist plays a different and necessary part in contributing to the overall health, development, and well-being of our society.
Creative thinkers and makers provide their communities with joy, interaction, and inspiration, but they also give thoughtful critique to our political, economic and social systems — pushing communities to engage thoughtfully and make steps toward social progress.
Everybody hurts. Everybody loves. Everybody hopes. And, everybody dies. Mainly, art is about our own sense of mortality.