Tuesday, January 20, 2009

President Obama Surrounded by Security and ARTISTS

We all watched it and I can only believe we have all been moved. The last line from my favorite movie, The Shawshank Redemption, echos in my mind, "I hope."

What struck me most though in his inauguration ceremony was not the wall to wall crowds of hopeful and inspired citizens, not the wall to wall security phalanxes and guards, not the back to back to back entrances or arguably the most powerful politicians in the world.

What struck me most was that for this most important and historic event, President Obama was surrounded by ARTISTS. Aretha Franklin (legendary singer), Itzhak Perlman (Violin), Yo-Yo Ma (Cello), Gabriela Montero (Piano), and Anthony McGill (Clarinet). All artists at the height of their careers and at the height of their abilities to express their talents. And again, "I hope."

"I hope" that we will understand the need for the support and expansion of the arts for our children and for our whole society. As we have seen on Wall Street, capitalism without oversight is ripe with corruption and creates a society that only focuses on profits and short term gains. We cannot continue to go down that road. We need education and discipline. And the arts represent that in so many ways. Just try to be an accomplished musician without discipline. Just try to write a play or musical without a keen respect for education.

In our capitalistic market and society, "I hope" to continue to find brave and forward thinking investors that are willing to take a chance on art. It is so important to have it in our society, the President was compelled to surrounded himself with experts at creating it.


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