My friend Charlie brought my attention to this video.
It is a plea from a wide cross section of people for the value of the arts. (You can see Charlie at 12' 58" He also did the music.) Charlie is a veteran Pittsburgh advocate for the arts whose passion is a thing of beauty in itself. He is also smart, which is why he and the others who did the project didn't take the approach I took in the video posted below. But I'm guessing that deep down, he might have been tempted.
Art is, among other things, the Rosetta Stone that a culture leaves behind to be decoded, understood and appreciated by those that follow. It is our gift to them as well as to us. It is a message that passes through time that tells of what we have in common with all humanity, and what makes us different. Take away the art, and you are still left with a message. But not one the World would care to read.
Arts advocates devote their lives to explaining, defending and then re-explaining and re-defending why this is important. Maybe it is time artists and those that recognize their value borrow an effective technique common elsewhere, and settle this once and for all. See the video below to see how this would work.
And thanks, Charlie