Why do the arts matter

Ever ask yourself why the arts matter?

Here at ArtsWestchester, we ask everyone we meet that question all the time.  It’s not because we don’t know the answer, but more importantly, it helps us frame the importance of the arts in a very personal way.

Beyond the answers we’ve received, here are a some responses from people you may know, including author Ben Cheever, who we recently honored at our Arts Award luncheon:

“Give art a chance and you’ll see a difference in the streets.” – Robert Redford

“Young people who learn the arts do better in every phase of their lives.” – Meryl Streep

“…(The arts) reframed my world and changed my idea of what I thought was possible, and gave me new eyes with which to look at things through.” – Kerry Washington

“I don’t like to say I have given my life to art. I prefer to say art has given me my life.” – Frank Stella

“To me, it is important just to absolutely embrace arts and culture and the creative industries …It is the single greatest export we exchange around the world.” – Kevin Spacey

“Man was making art long before man was making budgets, long before he was making a living at all.” – Ben Cheever

When Prime Minister Winston Churchill was told there would be major cuts in the arts and culture because of the huge costs of World War II, he was reported to have said: “Then what are we fighting for?”

I would love to hear why the arts matter to you. Post your answer in the comments section below.

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