Ring out the old, ring in the new,
Ring, happy bells, across the snow:
The year is going, let him go;
Ring out the false, ring in the true.
~Alfred, Lord Tennyson
Happy New Year to you! I hope 2009 is a spectacular year for you, full of joy, adventure, love, creativity, good challenges, and many rewards. May you enjoy excellent health and well-being, and please do come visit me again. I’ll keep the virtual fire going, ready to welcome you back.
[Above image, (detail) Untitled (Image DSC4325), ink + paper ©Sky Pape]
I found a few interesting things over at Sister Space, a blog I’ve now added to the sidebar over there for your convenience.
First off, we all know that in these economic times, few are more vulnerable than our society’s artists and arts organizations. President-Elect Obama has expressed his opinion about the importance and value of the arts, so perhaps he’ll take to heart the suggestion of appointing a Secretary of the Arts.
“Let Obama know you support having a cabinet position to ensure the cultural fabric of America stays strong and grows by signing this petition! http://www.petitiononline.com/esnyc/petition.html“
Sister Space also posted a bit (via Artnet News) about a recently released report from The National Endowment for the Arts. Women Artists: 1990-2005 (the full text is downloadable here), is a 17-page study about the status of women in the arts.
Some findings that didn’t exactly surprise me but were nonetheless noteworthy:
- Women Artists reports that earning discrepancies increase for older women — quite substantially so. “In 2003-2005, women artists aged 18 to 24 earned $0.95 for every $1 made by young men artists. This ratio fell to $0.78 for artists aged 35 to 44, and to $0.67 for 45-to-54-year-olds. Women artists aged 55 to 64 earned only $0.60 for every dollar earned by men artists in that age group.”
- Women artists are as likely to be married as female workers on the whole, but they are less likely to have children. Twenty-nine percent of women artists had children under age 18, almost six percentage points lower than for women workers in general.
- Female artists earn less then male artists. They approach parity only in the performing arts. Non-performing female artists earn only $0.72 for every dollar males earn.
Some additional statistics if you’re still hungry for more.
If you can’t stand the white stuff, you may want to read no further. No blizzard, this, but it was excuse enough for the bank and other businesses to close early, and it was enough to bring on that giddy feeling that I would, without proper self-restraint, find myself waving at random strangers. People drawn together. A suit-guy on the subway, sans tie, carried home a single tulip to someone, smiling at himself thinking of the imminent handing-off of this flower. I know I’ve got it good as a city girl–no need to shovel or drive–I get to enjoy the pure magic of it. Snow! The individual beauty of each crystal, the muffling of the city’s daily noise, the slowed-down pace, the seasonal cheer, the laughter, the rosy cheeks, the romance in the air.
“Kindness is like snow–it beautifies everything it covers.” [anonymous]
Plus: FREE hot chocolate today!
I was getting a bit cranky, ruminating once again on the evisceration of arts budgets across the board (not to mention art collectors’ budgets), and feeling just about ready to march right up to Congress demanding an Artists’ Bailout–hey, we’ll settle for even a measly one billion! Then I read some snippets from President-Elect Obama’s recently taped “Meet the Press” interview with Tom Brokaw:
“Thinking about the diversity of our culture and inviting jazz musicians and classical musicians and poetry readings in the White House so that once again we appreciate this incredible tapestry that’s America,” he said.
“Historically, what has always brought us through hard times is that national character, that sense of optimism, that willingness to look forward, that sense that better days are ahead,” Obama said. “I think that our art and our culture, our science–you know, that’s the essence of what makes America special, and we want to project that as much as possible in the White House.”
Cranky doesn’t suit me. In fact, now I’m feeling kinda special, so I’m hoping this doesn’t disappear from the agenda as quickly as the promise about taxing windfall oil profits seems to have done.