Believing In Art As Artists

Sometimes it becomes hard to believe in the world, to see that we are all a part of the same universe, working together towards the same things, because of what is going on around us.

All people want to live a good life, but one always questions what that good life is. As an artist, I am constantly trying to figure out where I am going and what life I want to live. With my impending graduation, I have continually found life as an artist is in jeopardy. This scares me, especially with the Trump administration’s apparent war on the arts. According to The New York Times, the elimination of the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities is in Trump’s first draft of the federal budget. This makes my future as an artist, as a theatre maker, seem very uncertain. How do those who rely on those grants move forward and continue to create their art? Without these endowments, a lot of theaters and artists in general will have trouble working and keeping up their studios and theaters. The NEA and the NEH are what keep the arts going, but now we must find other ways to fund production.

The Southeastern Theatre Conference that I attended over spring break kept constantly mentioning the idea of self-producing. As artists, this is the new way to go, the way to break into the business. In the face of this daunting threat on the arts, we must continue to try to move forward. The question becomes how do we do that? The belief that what we do matters is important from this point of view. We must believe in ourselves or no one will believe in us. For me, the power of theatre comes in the making of meaning, and we as artists need to try to think about what we want to do with our art. We need to think about the type of change we want to make in the world. If we do not know what our mission is, how can we make change? Even though the arts are currently facing massive attack on our way of life, we still must ask ourselves these questions and believe we can continue. There is power in art; that is why the Trump Administration is cutting our funding. They are afraid of the change that will come through art.

That leads me to the poem that I wrote below. This is what is important to me: Change will come, but we must believe.

 

Belief,

Can we get any relief?

As we fall and let it know

Till we admit defeat,

However….

This is not the universe,

This is not how it is

It flows and goes,

Wherever it sees fit,

It cannot quit

And neither can we

Because if we cannot

See…

Be…

Believe

Then how can we cleave

And make ourselves heave

Into the beauty of the

World

That cannot be curled

Believe…

You matter…

Trust…..and the Universe

Will not Rust…

 

 

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