Fine art is an art form and the fight for its survival must be fought.
The American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers has declared it a “world-renowned, multi-disciplinary art form.”
The National Endowment for the Arts has designated the art form “a global leader in the dissemination of creativity, and one of the great global cultural achievements of our time.”
And the American Library Association says that, despite its rich history, “no other American art form has so many enduring and creative contributions.”
But how do we know these things?
In short, because art is a public good, and the public benefits from the works of art that are produced.
For decades, we’ve relied on public funding to fund art, but with the advent of the Internet, the funding model has changed.
This past year alone, the National Endowments for the Humanities, the Museum of Modern Art, the Smithsonian Institution and other institutions received more than $2.6 billion from the federal government for arts and culture, up nearly $2 billion from 2012.
While that’s still far short of the $5.4 billion that the government spends on the arts annually, it’s a lot of money.
“I think it’s really great that people are now paying attention to how the arts are being used and benefiting from it,” said Richard Stearns, a professor of cultural studies at the University of Texas at Austin.
But there are other public benefits to art, too.
For instance, a recent study conducted by the National Center for Arts Education and Research found that arts students have been using art to educate themselves about science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) topics, and have also been taking art classes to improve their reading skills.
“A lot of arts and crafts are in the education pipeline,” said Stearnes.
“There’s a big emphasis on art in the curriculum for kids in the next few years.
It’s a very important skill for the next generation.”
And as the public becomes more educated, there’s a growing interest in using the arts to inspire creativity.
A recent study by the Center for the Study of Media and the Arts at the City University of New York found that people who have seen an art show in the past year are more likely to become creative in their own work.
In one survey, students were asked to draw an illustration, compose a story or write a poem about their art project, and then write a short essay about the project and their creative process.
Of the students who created a new piece, 73 percent said they thought they had “created something that they were passionate about,” and 75 percent said their “creative process had changed.”
As the public looks for ways to help artists create, artists are stepping up.
“People are really passionate about the arts, and they’re going to take it very seriously,” said John Schumann, a creative director at the Museum.
“It’s a great opportunity for the public to get to know them, learn about them and be inspired by them.”
It’s also an opportunity for artists to engage in public discourse about art and to get the word out about their work.
“The arts have always been a forum for discussion, and I think that’s really what’s going to keep it alive,” said Schumann.
“And we have to make sure we do that, because people are going to come and go, and it’s very important for the arts as a public space.”