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Tuesday, June 17, 2003

Filling Seats Or Inspiring Audiences?

By Kathy Iwanowski

I enjoyed your recent article about current art funding slashes and I agree with you especially your comment about filling seats being a more important issue than producing inspiring audiences.  What has happened to the arts?

I am an aspiring visual artist and writer from a small town in Florida.  I didn't retire here to paint scenes of pelicans and sunsets.  However, I even woke up this morning thinking about my dreams for "success" and how I have sometimes measured them against those that are commercially and financially more successful than me because they do.  Yet, even in that, I am also disgusted with myself that I have sometimes given up on my problem-solving assignments for myself thorugh art and writing and settled for less than what I know that I am capable of as an artist and writer in my unending search for funding and commercial success.

Where am I going with this?  I just wanted to say that I agree that some of us "artists", arts organizations, and arts funding for that matter, no matter what our genre, HAVE lost sight of our purpose(s).  I know that I have to go into my studio to do my art.  It's like breathing, if I don't do it, I don't feel so good.  But, in the search for financial support (funding) and success (sales), I know I am not always doing my art and I am not always feeling so good. And maybe there lies my and the rest of arts mediocrity.

Thank you,
Kathy Iwanowski

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