On a city street, walking to an art opening a few nights ago, I heard the unmistakable “thump… whack… thump, thump, whack” of a drummer’s practice session through an apartment window. Walking back to my car almost two hours later he was still rehearsing, still perfecting his craft. After getting past my initial sympathy for his neighbor I had to smile… I love when people live their lives with that kind of passion. And artists typically do. So after this uplifting evening filled with thought-provoking photography, stirring music, artfully prepared food and the sound of that young, aspiring musician, it disturbed me to remember that, soon, legislators will be having their annual debate about whether or not the county should fund the arts. Since county funding was decreased last year in Westchester, it makes me wonder what opportunities that young musician may miss out on, what we’ll all miss out on, if these cuts continue.
If you are a Westchester resident there IS something you can do, and all it will cost you is one minute and five seconds of your time (It’s true. I timed the process myself). In last week’s blog post I suggested that art-lovers everywhere contact their local legislators, and urge them to maintain government support for the arts. ArtsWestchester, New York State’s largest private, not-for-profit service organization, has just made this remarkably easy for Westchester residents. By visiting their website at the link below and entering a few pieces of contact information, you can submit a pre-written letter to your local legislators, reminding them of the positive economic impact of the arts on our communities, and urging them to include funding for the arts in the county’s upcoming fiscal year. As this can all be done with a click of your mouse, supporting the arts has never been easier.