art and ritual sacrifice


New York Governor David Paterson is trying to balance the state's budget by cutting arts funding by 40%. The UK Department of Culture is also facing similar cuts. Boo.

I used to like Paterson (the whole underdog thing, his being blind and all), but he's put so many artists and organizations that I love at risk, among them Imani House where I take a women (of color) writers' workshop. Their afterschool program serves 154 low-income students year-round, and has essentially been cut.

I am very upset by this, although I'm not surprised. It's such an old story--politicians trying to clean up their bad economies by cutting (presumably frivolous) art funding. A part of me has begun seeing it as some kind of ritual sacrifice to appease the financial gods.

I'm a firm believer that art allows us all to rise above our tedious lives and connect with our shared humanity/divine creation. I think that more artists should be activists so that things like this don't happen.

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