I am seeing posts everywhere of people worried about the arts funding that President Trump is cutting. I am all for the arts, trust me. I love to go to museums and to draw and to be creative. But none of it is dependent on the government. You have to realize we are in heavy debt in the USA, about $20 trillion! That is a hard number to even imagine but it is an extremely high number. The arts programs are usually the first to go but don’t worry, there are plenty of things you can do.
1) Do things on your own. It is not difficult. Art supplies are available to you. Even the dollar store carries art supplies. A pencil and plain notebook are basics. Get your own supplies and work on smaller scales. People can easily teach themselves how to do things. If there is a will, there is a way.
2) Pass art to your kids and family and friends. A neighborhood girl taught me how to draw when I was a kid. My mother taught me how to crochet. Then I learned how to knit from regular women on YouTube. Learn and pass it on.
3) Make your businesses a gallery. Some churches and local businesses would love to display your framed art. There are local cafes here that put up paintings with price tags or numbers or more information underneath if you want to purchase local art.
4) Visit museums. I am fortunate living near Los Angeles having a lot of museums to go to and all the big names are there including Degas, Picasso and Renoir. The cost is very minimal and students get a discount. It is one of my favorite things to do and I can spend hours in a museum. Some towns have free museums. Several of the local libraries put up displays year round.
5) You can find all sorts of things on the net. You can get free documentaries, free shows for kids. Information and videos are at your fingertips for just about anything and it is all free.
6) There are community classes. Have you checked to see if your town offers classes? They are usually at a small fee for an instructor and a class.
7) People are worried that youth will go to gangs if they have nothing to do. Now is the time for churches to step up and open their doors to the youth. Offer free classes. Someone in your church probably already knows how to play the piano or the guitar and could mentor some kids. Never let kids be alone with an adult. Go with them and help out in a class next to them. You sew quilts while someone teaches guitar to your preteens in the next room with the door open. My dad used to sit in the room and read while my sis and I took classes.
Now is the time to look into a part time job or another career if you were an artist. It is more of a side thing anyways. Sometimes we have to work as a waiter or waitress so we can afford paint. Perhaps if you like the new small business atmosphere that is going on you will open a business that promotes the arts. People also need to stop panicking and acting like Sesame Street is the best show on TV. When my kids were small they didn’t even like that show. We were Barney fans! I don’t even know if that show is around still but we had DVDs of Barney, too. You are not going to miss anything. Maybe instead of sticking them in front of a TV you will go do something like take them to a park or museum and pass on some traditions on your own. NPR is not the only radio station. This is modern times, go for podcasts or news online or from Twitter feeds. It’s not the end of the world. Just time to be more creative on how you do things.