Arts Matter: The Influence and Role of Arts in Society
Written By: Christine See
UTROS in Philippines Inc.
Art is defined in several ways. It is the expression or application of human creative skill and imagination, whether visual, auditory, or performance to showcase beauty, feelings, or ideas. It has various branches, including painting, sculpture, music, dance, literature, theater, and film. Art contributes significantly to an individual’s quality of life and the community’s health and well-being.
Art is beyond creativity and appreciation. It is important in developing and expressing individual creativity and talent, providing a tool for economic growth, making a distinctive community identity, and connecting people across cultural boundaries.
Impact of Arts on Individuals
According to researches, the impact of arts on an individual is not only pleasure but also improvement of ability and skills, and enhancement of physical and psychological well-being. Many art activities provide enjoyment and participation, such as museums, festivals, murals, and performances. Through art experiences, an individual can have fun, feel free, and take a rest from a daily routine. Moreover, individuals can benefit from the arts because they can practice self-expression, learn new skills, and even promote health and welfare, self-confidence, self-identity, and self-esteem.
Art activities could be divided into two categories: producing arts and consuming arts. Some examples of producing arts are playing a musical instrument, singing, drawing or painting, dancing, and acting. On the other hand, art consumption includes expenditures on entertainment and media like attending live performances, watching movies, purchasing music albums and/or online music, and buying paintings and crafts. These activities result in people’s satisfaction and produce a positive effect on their quality of life.
Impact of Arts in Society
Studies find that the impact of arts in society was categorized into six themes: personal development, social unity, community empowerment and self-determination, local image and identity, imagination and vision, and health and well-being.
People who participate in art activities can build social relationships and networks. As a result, the social capital will be stronger and the people are also more likely to join other community and volunteer activities.
Furthermore, social capital is important because it strengthens aspects of human relationships like trust. When trust is established in a community, people feel safe and secured. Also, art gives society a sense of pride for their culture and provides awareness to the people of their local identity.
In terms of the well-being of society, art is practically beneficial to the economy. Irina Bokova, Director-General of UNESCO stated that “creative economy contributes to the overall well-being of communities, individual self-esteem, and quality of life, thus achieving inclusive and sustainable development.” Additionally, creative economy “is one of the most rapidly growing sectors of the world economy, it is also a highly transformative one in terms of income generation, job creation and export earnings (UNESCOPRESS, 2013).” The arts inspire the expansion of “creative industries.” These industries include advertising, animation, architecture, broadcast arts, crafts, culinary arts, cultural/heritage activities, design, literature, music, new media, performing arts, publishing, and visual arts.”
Arts Awareness and Empowerment
The arts matter because they are good for both the soul and the body. It is necessary to pay attention to art awareness and empowerment. Arts should not be limited and must be accessible to all. A community with plentiful arts establishments helps people gain easy access to art projects and programs. Art institutions offer exhibits, events, and art programs that are open to the public. The continuous support for museums, libraries, film festivals, and other art institutions is important to boost the arts. Likewise, the artists are the producers of art and therefore deserve acknowledgment and gratitude.
However, the field of arts faces challenges. The difficult treatment and condition of work in the creative industries result in an alarming and dangerous effect in the workers, particularly physical and mental health as their productive capacity is being overly stretched and exhausted or their work is underappreciated and under-compensated. Furthermore, the workers’ social life can be compromised as well if the work-life balance will be ignored in the industry. But even though these cases are typical in the field, there are still many people who want to work in the creative industry because of the passion they have in the art and the heart for a significant contribution to society and the masses that may produce change and development. Hopefully, the situation will become better and the quality of life of creative labor will improve.
Given the role and influence of art, supporting and patronizing the artistic endeavors help us understand the complex, wondrous world and humanity, and even way beyond, to discover new knowledge and wealth in various forms.
Let us share art. The goal of art is a significant contribution to life. Thus, the importance of sharing art is similar to sharing beauty, sensibility, knowledge, history, and culture.
Dalisay, B. (2016). Why the art should matter. The Philippine Star. Retrieved from https://www.philstar.com/lifestyle/arts-and-culture/2016/04/24/1576353/why-arts-should-matter
Sung, H. (2016). The Influence and Role of Arts on Community Well-being. Arizona State University. Retrieved from https://repository.asu.edu/attachments/170292/content/Sung_asu_0010E_15684.pdf
UNESCOPRESS. (2013). Creative industries boost economies and development, shows UN Report. Retrieved from http://www.unesco.org/new/en/media-services/in-focus-articles/creative-industries-boost-economies-and-development-shows-un-report/
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