HELLO AMERICA!—There seems to be continued governmental threats to cut funding for the arts. Public broadcasting and NPR because of its programming of controversial social ideas have already been deeply affected by a Congress that is determined to minimize the exposure of what many Americans are experiencing, especially if it reveals the dark side of their political beliefs. When speaking with Jane Fonda, Michael Strahan, John Travolta [they] agree that the Arts have always served as a powerful force of awareness and change ever since civilization began to make markings on the walls of a cave.
Fonda clearly states: “The sound of millions of people, like music, does impact the mood and hunger for truth. This, of course, is a factor which any despot or impending enemy of a people strive to silence; somehow, the need or hunger for recognition and freedom impacts the mood of those who are under an absolute rule of control without any feedback from a possible higher authority.”
Travolta didn’t hesitate to recall what happened during the early 1930s. “Hitler understood how much the German people needed to feel secure and safe, he reminded. “If you recall, this is what the Third Reich depended on when reshaping the feelings, emotions and image of the German people during that period. The films and music had to represent the concepts and ideas of the ‘NEW’ Germany or else.”
TV’s Michael Strahan focused on Shakespeare’s “Hamlet” when the young prince was determined to expose the murder of his father, the king by introducing a PLAY within the Play. “Film and the theatre have always been a powerful force for exposure and truth,” he maintained. When people go to a theatre and listen to words which represent their feelings and experiences, the effect does make a difference in how they view life itself. A film because it’s more dimensional gives a message which can be quite devastating politically and of course socially.”
I’m reminded of such brilliant creative contributors such as Richard Wright author of “Black Boy,” playwright, Lorraine Hansberry’s “A Raisin in the Sun,” poet, Paul Laurence Dunbar; Marian Anderson who was refused an appearance in Constitution Hall, but with the support of Eleanor Roosevelt, she made her appearance in front of the Lincoln Memorial; Paul Robeson who sang and spoke about Freedom in works such as: “Ballad For Americans,” all of it represents the power of the arts which always serve as a threat to ignorance, bigotry and ideas and concepts of mass political control.
All of us who have a passion for music, theatre, film, poetry, dance, painting, must not forget that we, too, represent a positive need and change which society hangs on for survival.