Quotes in support of the Arts

Business Leader Quotes on Skills for Work and Innovation

“The rapidly evolving global economy demands a dynamic and creative workforce. The arts and its related businesses are responsible for billions of dollars in cultural exports for this country. It is imperative that we continue to support the arts and arts education both on the national and local levels. The strength of every democracy is measured by its commitment to the arts.”
–Charles Segars, CEO of Ovation

“We need people who think with the creative side of their brains—people who have played in a band, who have painted…it enhances symbiotic thinking capabilities, not always thinking in the same paradigm, learning how to kick-start a new idea, or how to get a job done better, less expensively.”
–Annette Byrd, GlaxoSmithKline

“Arts education aids students in skills needed in the workplace: flexibility, the ability to solve problems and communicate, the ability to learn new skills, to be creative and innovative, and to strive for excellence.”
– Joseph M. Calahan, Director of Cooperate Communications, Xerox Corporation

“GE hires a lot of engineers. We want young people who can do more than add up a string of numbers and write a coherent sentence. They must be able to solve problems, communicate ideas and be sensitive to the world around them. Participation in the arts is one of the best ways to develop these abilities.”
– Clifford V. Smith, President of the General Electric Foundation

“I believe that creativity will be the currency of the 21st century.”

– Gerald Gordon, Ph.D., President/CEO, Fairfax County (Virginia) Economic Development Authority.

Arts Education Essential to Complete Education for the Whole Child

“I believe arts education in music, theater, dance, and the visual arts is one of the most creative ways we have to find the gold that is buried just beneath the surface. They (children) have an enthusiasm for life a spark of creativity, and vivid imaginations that need training – training that prepares them to become confident young men and women.”
– Richard W. Riley, Former US Secretary of Education

“The arts are an essential element of education, just like reading, writing, and arithmetic…music, dance, painting, and theater are all keys that unlock profound human understanding and accomplishment.”
– –William Bennett, Former US Secretary of Education

“The future belongs to young people with an education and the imagination to create.”
–President Barack Obama


Cultural Heritage and the Arts as Essential to Society

“The Arts and Sciences, essential to the prosperity of the State and to the ornament of human life, have a primary claim to the encouragement of every lover of his country and mankind.”
–George Washington

“I must study politics and war, that my sons may study mathematics and philosophy…in order to give their children the right to study painting, poetry, music and architecture.”
–John Q. Adams

“Art is a nation’s most precious heritage. For it is in our works of art that we reveal to ourselves and to others the inner vision which guides us as a nation. And where there is no vision, the people perish.”
–Lyndon Johnson, on signing into existence the National Endowment on the Arts

“Aeschylus and Plato are remembered today long after the triumphs of Imperial Athens are gone. Dante outlived the ambitions of thirteenth century Florence. Goethe stands serenely above the politics of Germany, and I am certain that after the dust of centuries has passed over cities, we too will be remembered not for victories or defeats in battle or in politics, but for our contribution to the human spirit.”
–John F. Kennedy

Innovation and the Arts (also see business leader quotes above)

“Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere.”
–Albert Einstein

“Pyramids, cathedrals, and rockets exist not because of geometry, theories of structures, or thermodynamics, but because they were first a picture– literally a vision–in the minds of those who built them. Society is where it is today because people had the perception; the images and the imagination; the creativity that the Arts provide, to make the world the place we live in today.”

–Eugene Ferguson, Historian

“The innovative cities of the coming age will develop a creative union of technology, arts and civics.”

–Sir Peter Hall, renowned geographer and authority on the economic, demographic, cultural and management issues facing cities

Humanity and Arts and Culture

“If you have only two pennies, spend the first on bread and the other on hyacinths for your soul.”
–Arab Proverb

“Art is fundamental, unique to each of us…Even in difficult economic times –
especially in difficult economic times – the arts are essential.”

–Maria Shriver, California’s First Lady, Award-Winning Journalist and Author

Music Education Quotes

“Music is a more potent instrument than any other for education, because
rhythm and harmony find their way into the inward places of the soul.”
– Plato

“Whoever has skill in music is of good temperament and fitted for all things.
We must teach music in schools.”
– Martin Luther

“Music education opens doors that help children pass from school into the world around them – a world of work, culture, intellectual activity, and human involvement. The future of our nation depends on providing our children with a complete education that includes music.”
– Gerald Ford, Former President of the United States

“Music is about communication, creativity, and cooperation, and by studying music in schools, students have the opportunity to build on these skills, enrich their lives, and experience the world from a new perspective.”
– Bill Clinton, Former President of the United States

“Our schools tend to refine intellects but neglect to discipline emotions. For anyone to grow up complete, music is imperative.”
– Paul Harvey, Broadcaster/Commentator

“Music gives us a language that cuts across the disciplines, helps us to see connections and brings a more coherent meaning to our world.”
– Ernest Boyer, President, Carnegie Foundation

Science and Arts

“Man is unique not because he does science, and he is unique not because he does art, but because science and art equally are expressions of his marvelous plasticity of mind. “
–Jacob Bronowski, scientist, formerly of the Salk Institute


Arts and Culture Strengthening Communities

“The arts are the best insurance policy a city can take on itself.”
–Woody Dumas, former Mayor of Baton Rouge

“Politicians don’t bring people together. Artists do.”

-Mayor Richard Daley of Chicago