Rachel Maddow on Dance, Art and Society

1:42 AM / Posted by Ashley /

This was posted on my facebook wall. Just another reason why I love Rachel Maddow...

From the blog:

Here’s another reason to love Rachel Maddow: this past Saturday at a free, outdoor PillowTalk hosted by Jacob’s Pillow, the popular television host, radio personality, and political commentator discussed the role that the arts play in our lives and society as a whole. In her characteristically smart, articulate, and witty manner, Maddow shared her thoughts on the importance of the arts and arts education while engaging in a discussion with the talk’s moderator, the Pillow’s Scholar-in-Residence Suzanne Carbonneau. But, Maddow started by boldly stating that she’s not a dance expert, just an appreciator: “I know nothing about dance. I am a fan. I am a fan of dance and of Jacob’s Pillow and a fan of people who know nothing about dance going to see dance.” Here are a few more of Maddow’s statements from the event:

“Sometimes we choose to serve our country in uniform, in war. Sometimes in elected office. And those are the ways of serving our country that I think we are trained to easily call heroic. It’s also a service to your country, I think, to teach poetry in the prisons, to be an incredibly dedicated student of dance, to fight for funding music and arts education in the schools. A country without an expectation of minimal artistic literacy, without a basic structure by which the artists among us can be awakened and given the choice of following their talents and a way to get to be great at what they do, is a country that is not actually as great as it could be. And a country without the capacity to nurture artistic greatness is not being a great country. It is a service to our country, and sometimes it is heroic service to our country, to fight for the United States of America to have the capacity to nurture artistic greatness.”

“Not just in wartime but especially in wartime, and not just in hard economic times but especially in hard economic times, the arts get dismissed as ‘sissy’. Dance gets dismissed as craft, creativity gets dismissed as inessential, to the detriment of our country. And so when we fight for dance, when we buy art that’s made by living American artists, when we say that even when you cut education to the bone, you do not cut arts and music education, because arts and music education IS bone, it is structural, it is essential; you are, in [Jacob’s Pillow founder] Ted Shawn’s words, you are preserving the way of life that we are supposedly fighting for and it’s worth being proud of.” -Rachel Maddow

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