arts culture Written for Marinites and their friends who love the arts I t feels like summertime is finally here! And as the days grow longer and the weather grows warmer ... well, maybe not ... my attention is focused on September and beyond. Marin Arts & Culture will continue to explore what it means to be an artist in Marin County, and to discover the myriad of opportunities that we, as a community can share, as together we support the “softer” side of life. Recently, I came across an interview with Sir Peter Bazalgette, former chair of Arts Council England, in the Guardian. (Remember when we had our own Marin Arts Council?) He was speaking about a wonderful piece of sculpture that had been unveiled at Heathrow Airport, and commented that “the primary reason we make both public and private investments in the arts is for the inherent value of culture: life- enhancing, entertaining, defining of our personal and national identities.” “Imagine society without the civilizing influence of the arts and you’ll have to strip out what is most pleasurable in life—and much that is educationally vital,” 4 MARIN ARTS & CULTURE he continues. “Take the collective memory from our museums; remove the bands from our schools and choirs from our communities; lose the empathetic plays and dance from our theatres or the books from our libraries; expunge our festivals, literature and painting, and you’re left with a society bereft of a national conversation ... about its identity or anything else.” I couldn’t have said it better myself. Why are the arts not seen as important as science, technology, engineering or math? Aren’t the arts what make us human? I think so. And yet, the assault on arts funding is in full force ... both on a national level and locally. I give great thanks to those wonderful artists who have stepped up in Marin to start their own workshops, classes, and supplemental programs for schoolkids who might not otherwise have the opportunity to express themselves through music, painting, drama, dance and writing. I will be featuring more of you come September, along with more kids who have hopes, dreams and talent. It takes a village to produce each issue of Marin Arts & Culture, and Meredith Griffin, Founder and Publisher we want it to be your magazine. So think of yourselves as board members—please continue to share your suggestions, opinions, contacts and donations. July and August are planning months for us, but In the meantime, celebrate summer with the link below. I’ll wager that you’ve never heard “Summertime” from Porgy and Bess expressed in this way. See you in September!