The nonprofit group Americans for the Arts estimates 10,000 arts organizations could disappear in 2009.

I read it here.

I guess what I want to know is who cares? I really do. I mean, I know I care. I know my colleagues care. But of those who aren’t working in the arts, who cares?

Do tell.


  1. Well, not the guys I work with but they never did anyway even before our jobs were going, if its not chain saws and rock bands its not normally on their radar although they are impressed by me being in an amatuer orchestra(they can’t believe how different I look cleaned up for concerts, lol). People do care, I have non-artist friends involved in arts organizations in a business sense, and many people were proud when their kids are involved in arts programs, but no money from being unemployed means no options no matter how much one cares.

  2. Thanks for jumping in here oboemom! Nice to hear from you.

    Yeah, you’re right; if they are unemployed that can’t really do anything about this eh? So far I actually don’t know anyone who has lost a job, but I guess that’s unusual. (Maybe people would benefit by knowing me then. Hmm. … okay … kidding!)

  3. based on the number of people that find out I play the oboe and go “what is that?” I often wonder how the non-arts oriented person sees us arties. To me it is so second nature that I can’t even wrap my head around life out of the arts. I honestly wonder though…There must be someway to reacquaint the public to the arts. Right?

  4. Well, I can’t relate to other jobs. I guess it’s that way in many different areas.

    Heck, I’m not even sure what my kids’ jobs really are! (But they sure know what an oboe is. 😉

    Some folks just don’t like the arts. Kind of like how I don’t like boxing, drag racing, roller derby … you know? Different strokes and all that jazz.

  5. I don’t work in the arts and if it hadn’t been for early exposure to classical music and music education I probably wouldn’t care much about declining audiences for orchestra performances and the resultant loss of jobs and careers.

    In fact my parents weren’t all that interested in music but they had some albums lying around the house. I specifically recall one had a very plump ballerina on the cover and when I put in on in an idle moment (kids don’t seem to have those these days) it struck a “chord” somewhere that never stopped reverberating. Swan Lake. I played it to the point of “Would you stop playing that damned thing?!” Same sort of “wow” response to some similarly dusty Rachmaninoff (I was a kid; I liked my music “dramatic”) and soon I had ploughed through their limited collection and was plonking down my babysitting money for the Brandenburg Concertos (wore the grooves out on that one) which ultimately led to oboe lessons and then…well; my “real” life started to take precedence in terms of time and energy. But with the foundation of good music put in place with the time and effort of many unforgettable teachers it has outlasted any other youthful enthusiasms. And runs a lot deeper.

    You could say I did “nothing” with all of the time and energy I put into learning and playing music but the ability to appreciate music is immeasurably enhanced by learning and understanding, if only on a rudimentary level, the mechanics of making music.

    There’s so little money for music and arts education in the schools that if the parents aren’t listening to it at home I think we are seeing the results. Life gets even busier after childhood (maybe not for some overextended kids) that to pick up the passion for good music later in life when more mundane concerns (like making a living) become complex and overwhelming…seems fairly unlikely

    My now eleven year old boys heard some cello music on NPR a few years back and were really excited to hear “Movie Music” (it’s used in “Master and Commander”) so we got the soundtrack -downloaded online no scratchy old LPs. Now they are both very enthusiastic about orchestral music in general; one plays French horn and the other bass clarinet (oboe was a “no go”; maybe one per family is enough) . We all practice together sometimes using the background CD that comes with their band music. They really like “music Minus One” type recordings and we can have modified “karaoke” type contests at home.
    They are looking forward to getting to a concert again in SF (or Sj of course) if we ever make the time. The one time they went they were spellbound. Endearing and reassuring in this time of video game madness. I hope when they get older they will still be able to go out to a concert in any reasonably sized city.
    Hard to know what to do as early music programs are eviscerated from our schools and with it future audiences and performers. And most families can’t be counted on for exposure to fine arts; survival and homeowrk take precedence. Like languages; there may be an optimal age for learning music (and thus for learning to appreciate it)
    Maybe that is why concert attendance is dwindling; no one wants to put much effort into their “entertainment”
    But as the Tom Hanks character once said abput baseball, “Of course it’s hard! That’s what makes it so great!”
    or something like that
    Sorry for the length; got a bit too enthusiastic!

  6. Oh I love what you wrote, “Vallemar2”. 🙂

    It’s quite encouraging to read about your sons, even while there is discouraging things there as well. But YOU are the sort we rely on; we aren’t expecting everyone to expose their children to classical music … but a few in the bunch is wonderful!

    I have fifteen young students right now. I find that encouraging as well. I don’t expect them to go into music professionally; it’s rare to have students who do so. But each one who studies is another potential audience member, and a person who will grow up know what an oboe is. So I hang on to that!

    I think a bass clarinet, French horn, oboe combo sounds mighty interesting! 🙂