At a time when ICT, financial markets and energy projects make up the country’s list of priorities, it’s easy to forget the importance of the arts. Literature, music, theatre, film, art, and dance are too often forgotten in countries that lack basic health care and education. But as we advance towards Vision 2020, let us not forget what singing and dancing, reading and writing can bring to the mix.
As libraries are built and plans for theatres take shape, it is worth remembering the importance of art, in the broadest sense of the word.
The arts are crucial to the preservation of culture and heritage. Throughout time art has recorded history, making sense and giving meaning to what has come before. As such it offers signposts to the future, offering ideas on how to move forward.
Art, the expressing of ideas and beliefs, promotes intercultural dialogue and provides shared experience which in turn foster national identity both at home and abroad. Art offers a rich record of a nation’s identity. It plays homage to the stories and memories that a nation treasures and captures rituals and ceremonies, preserving them forever.
Furthermore artistic creativity in the spirit of openness advocates freedom of expression which promotes the free flow of ideas essential to social and economic development.
On a more personal level art – looking at photograph, watching a movie, reading a book – connects us with our emotions. It reminds us of some prospective broader than we otherwise have. It opens our minds, helping us to achieve beneficial states of mind.
So whether it be watching a play, painting a picture or simply singing a song, let us embrace the arts. And if all else fails you might end up simply having a good time.