Thursday, October 01, 2009

Michelle Obama: "The arts are at the heart of our national life"

Last week, First Lady Michelle Obama served as host for a concert at the Pittsburgh Creative & Performing Arts School for its students and the spouses of leaders attending the G-20 economic summit. She delivered a sppech about the importance of arts as a prelude to performances by Sara Bareilles, Yo-Yo Ma and Trisha Yearwood.

Excerpts from her speech (from a White House transcript, reprinted in the Sept. 25 L.A. Times):

"We believe strongly that the arts aren't somehow an 'extra’ part of our national life, but instead we feel that the arts are at the heart of our national life. It is through our music, our literature, our art, drama and dance that we tell the story of our past and we express our hopes for the future. Our artists challenge our assumptions in ways that many cannot and do not. They expand our understandings, and push us to view our world in new and very unexpected ways…..

"It's through this constant exchange -- this process of taking and giving, this process of borrowing and creating -- that we learn from each other and we inspire each other. It is a form of diplomacy in which we can all take part….

A great message to an audience from all over the world. Let's hope U.S. leaders also were listening.

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