When conservatives implement austerity budgets, music, art, and drama programmes are among the first casualties. When cities build an art gallery, or a theatre, or an art centre, conservatives think it’s a waste of money. When cities commission an artist to create a public art piece, conservatives complain. When arts organizations are subsidized by government funding, conservatives call it excessive.
Yet despite their hatred for the arts, they consume it every day.
The arts were the music classes of the musicians they listen to on the radio or their Spotify list at work and during their commute. The arts were the drama classes of the artists they watch in their favourite TV show or the latest movie. The arts were the art classes of the architect who designed their house and the engineer who designed the stadium where their favourite hockey team plays.
Art is integrated into every aspect of society. It’s why cities are alive with vibrant, diverse colour rather than just various shades of grey. It’s why buildings come in various shapes and sizes instead of uninspiring cubes. It’s why there’s Christmas music playing in stores in December. It’s why cars don’t all look the same. It’s why movies at the theatre are immersive experiences.
It’s hypocritical to oppose the arts while participating in society in any meaningful way.