As I freely admit, I live in New Jersey, but I am from BROOKLYN. And you can’t take the Brooklyn out of this girl. Nor can you deny her basic need to be within driving distance of “The City” (aka Manhattan). Unlike so many of my dearest friends, I have never been able to move far away from the city that never sleeps. While I love the place where I live and work, and I am often awestruck by its quiet, its natural beauty and clean air, the comfort of knowing I can jump in my car and be in the middle of the greatest city in the world in less than one hour can not be overstated.
Whether I need a fix of some cuisine I can’t get here (and frankly, Italian is about all you can count on up here in the North Pole of NJ), an indie movie or a cultural infusion, access to New York is imperative to my survival. I may not go in for months at a time, but then that undeniable need to cross the Hudson grabs me and tosses me into the car for a visit.
This past Sunday evening, I was watching the tube and looking for something to fill the time between programs, I stumbled on a show called NYC-ARTS on NJTV. A show focused on all kinds of arts-related events and organizations in the NY metro area, this program was beautifully produced, hosted by Philippe de Montebello and Paula Zahn, offering great, timely information for the metro area culture-vulture.
As a LinkedIn member, I was also encouraged to join the NYC-ARTS group and in doing so, received an invitation to an event at their studio at Lincoln Center. I went yesterday and learned that NYC-ARTS (a partner of WNET/THIRTEEN) has been working to become a very deep and accessible treasure trove of information about the arts around us. Featuring the ability for non-profit organizations of all kinds and sizes to sign up and enhance their visibility, with tools to reach children, seniors and everyone in between, they are posting on Twitter, Facebook and Tumblr. Their new Community Relations arm is doing an important job, reaching out to make sure the message is being heard: Art DOES matter and there are lots of ways to experience the range of expression available.
In a time when art and music programs have been cut from schools, grant programs to artists have been all but eliminated, the ability to digitally and freely imbibe and distribute work has devalued artistic expression, I am thrilled to learn that NYC-ARTS has emerged to make sure we are enriched through every possible channel.
Yes, ART DOES MATTER. If you haven’t gotten the memo yet, I encourage you to explore http://www.nyc-arts.org and connect with some of the greatness that survives and thrives in our complex world.
If you agree, please cite this post and Tweet your thoughts to #DoesArtMatter , because if you’re reading this, you know it does.