State governments across the country are experiencing growing deficits, and government art programs are threatened. In poor economic climates, the arts are unfortunately often the first aspects of society that lose crucial funding. I wrote to artists and non-artists to ask the question: why should our government support the arts?

My hope in placing these voices side by side is to foster understanding between those directly and those indirectly engaged in the arts. Over the next few weeks I’ll be updating this post with links to additional responses. Please weigh in on the conversation that these contributors have begun. I hope that this dialogue will continue in order to sustain an arts community that both enhances art and strengthens our nation.

– Kathryn Boland, Editorial Intern, Bourgeon

1. Ed Lazere, Policy Director, DC Fiscal Policy Institute
2. Andy Shallal, Visual Artist and Founder, Busboys and Poets
3. Maida Withers, Choreographer and Professor
4. Jon Gann, film-maker, and founder of DC Shorts, and DC Film
5. Clark Ray, candidate for DC City Council

Kathryn Boland is a junior at the George Washington University majoring in Dance. She is also minoring in Art History, Theater, and English. She is originally from Newport, Rhode Island. She is fascinated with anything and everything artistic. She is therefore pleased to contribute to dialogue around the arts through interning with Bourgeon.

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