"Perhaps it is music that will save the world." -Pablo Casals
Most people who participate in art and cultural activities say that these activities enhance the quality of their lives - they bring about personal enjoyment, enriching perspectives, intellectual stimulation, and opportunities for public involvement. The Arts can help change the score on some of our most pressing needs as well, including building school readiness in preschoolers, bridging the achievement gap, inspiring creative aging and more. Research demonstrates the powerful impact music and the arts have across the lifespan, from strengthening pre-literacy skills in young children, improving math skills in school-age kids, to stimulating brain function in people living with Alzheimer’s and maintaining vocal strength for those living with Parkinson's disease.
The arts and expressive culture also have broader impacts beyond the individual level. They can fuel community and economic development.
Because art is about crossing boundaries and seeing things in different ways it can be a vehicle for public discussion, understanding social issues, and building social connections. Through participation and political action, citizens can shape their community to better reflect their values.
Several researchers have argued that people are increasingly first choosing where they want to live and then seeking employment there. In today's economy, the ability to attract and retain creative human talent is the key to economic growth.Communities are competing to get the most talented and brightest workers by selling them on the cultural vibrancy of their communities—the restaurants, art galleries, music scene, architecture, public gardens, and so on. In fact, the cities that are most successful in attracting workers are the ones that have exciting art and cultural offerings. The arts and culture sector is an integral part of the new economy.
"Art helps us identify with one another and expands our notion of we - from the local to the global." -Olafur Eliasson, Artist