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Is Art important to society? And how do actors contribute to our society?

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I thought it timely to have this discussion since our Prime Minster this week announced that no longer would there be an Arts Portoflio. Instead he has decided to merge it with the Ministry of Transport!

If you are surprised, amazed or confused by this, then join the club! How art can be lumped in with transport is beyond me!

In the Middle Ages art served a religious purpose – most people couldn’t read and it gave them a visual understanding of Christianity. 

Actors by their very core are communicators. They, through their work can  influence society and shape things to come. 

Art, be it theatre, film, music etc allows people from different cultures and different times to communicate with each other via images, sounds and stories. 

The actors work can become a vehicle for social change.  Early “science fiction” presented the concept of flight, and later space travel, long before it was made possible.

Theatre, film, art gives voice to the politically or socially disenfranchised. A song, film or novel can rouse emotions in those who encounter it, inspiring them to rally for change.

Studies show that art and theatre have a demonstrable and positive correlation between schoolchildren’s grades in maths and literacy, as it does in their involvement with drama or music activities. It has the same impact on the elderly where it sparkes imagination and memory, thereby creating conversation.

Research has shown art affects the fundamental sense of self.

Painting, sculpture, music, theatre, film and literature are more often than not  considered to be society’s collective memory. It preserves what fact-based historical records cannot: how it felt to exist in a particular place at a particular time.

All this is the work of the actor, the artist. 

Art creates beauty.

To not support the arts is a travesty!

 

Footnote: To exercise your craft and to have a social relevance to your work, have you thought about performing for your local retirement home or your local school? Get a group together or just go and perform your favourite theatre audition piece.

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