News

Up to the minute news on arts and business partnerships.

RSS

Arts: The Mother of Invention

Posted by Janet Langsam
0 Comments
Arts: The Mother of Invention

Every morning, I turn on the treadmill, tune into the Today Show and run until I bank 150 calories to earn a glass of Chardonnay at the end of the day.

 

Matt Lauer and the NBC crew are usually just eye candy and background chatter, but [April 25] they hit a nerve talking about college degrees that may be “useless” like “fine arts, drama, philosophy, religious studies,” when it comes to getting a job. Lauer quoted a recent poll that said that one out of two recent college grads are either unemployed or underemployed.

 

Donny Deutsch, one of the Today panelists said, “I never looked at a (college) major in my life in hiring people.”

 

And a good thing too since the National Arts Index published by the advocacy organization Americans for the Arts, indicates that interest in the arts as a college major is growing. It says that from 1996–2010 more than 1.5 million degrees were awarded in visual and performing arts, with annual graduations growing steadily from 75,000 to 129,000—an increase of 73 percent.

 

Could all these college bound kids be wasting their time?

 

Fortunately, according to the Americans for the Arts website, there are a growing number of jobs out there in creative industries that range from museums, symphonies, and theaters to small for-profit film, video, music, architecture, digital games, and advertising companies. So one doesn’t necessarily need to land a leading role on Broadway to use their arts degree.

 

“Nationally, there are 904,581 businesses in the U.S. involved in the creation or distribution of the arts that employ 3.34 million people. Representing 4.25 percent of all businesses and 2.15 percent of all employees, respectively,quotes the site. In case one is tempted to quibble with these figures, they come from the most trusted of sources, Dun & Bradstreet.

 

Like any other subject, there are at least two or maybe a hundred schools of thought, and we Neanderthals in the arts believe that “creativity” is a good enough reason to study the arts.

 

According to Newsweek in a 2010 article entitled “Creativity Crisis”: “A recent IBM poll of 1,500 CEOs identified creativity as the No. 1 ‘leadership competency’ of the future. Yet it’s not just about sustaining our nation’s economic growth. All around us are matters of national and international importance that are crying out for creative solutions, from saving the Gulf of Mexico to bringing peace to Afghanistan to delivering health care.”

The fact is that our businesses are crying out for creative employees…and…perhaps some of them learned to think creatively through the arts. The accepted definition of creativity is production of something original and useful says Newsweek.

 

Steve Jobs said that this wouldn't have had different type faces without the arts.

While the arts don’t have a monopoly on left brain thinking or creative problem solving, they do have a remarkable track record.

 

So why is Lauer posing the question, “are (college) degrees in things like fine arts, drama, etc…useless when it comes to getting a job?”

 

Years ago (defined as when I went to college) a liberal arts education was thought to be the smartest and most comprehensive degree to pursue in preparation for a career in any field. Now, in this age of specialization, there is a college degree to be had in every narrow silo that fits a job description that may be “useless” in years to come.

 

I somehow doubt that such myopia will bring an entrepreneurial spirit back to American business.

 

Steve Jobs for one gave credit to a single calligraphy course in college, without which he says “the Mac would have never had multiple typefaces or proportionally spaced fonts.”

Who knows where inspiration will come from next, so don’t sell the arts short. It is the mother of invention.

 

(Editor’s Note: This post originally appeared on Janet Langsam’s blog on April 25, 2012.)

 

*Photo courtesy of Jessi Jacobson.

Comments
blog comments powered by Disqus

More News

National Air and Space Museum Soars with a Gift from Boeing
Apr 18, 2014 0 Comments
Early this month, Boeing announced a gift of $30 million to the Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum to renovate and expand its main exhibition hall on the National Mall in Washington, DC. The 2-year renovation plan will...
Go to full post
Announcing the 2014 BCA Leadership Award and Hall of Fame Honorees
Apr 16, 2014 0 Comments
Americans for the Arts and the Business Committee for the Arts (BCA) Executive Board are pleased to announce this year's BCA Leadership Award and Hall of Fame honorees.   Frederic C. Hamilton, chairman of Denver-based Hamilton...
Go to full post
WEBINAR: Engaging Business Advocates
Apr 15, 2014 0 Comments
Join us for a webinar on Wednesday, April 23 at 3:00 p.m. ET.   Engaging your community’s business and philanthropic leaders as arts advocates and advisors is a goal many arts organizations aspire to but don’t always accomplish...
Go to full post
BayCoast Bank Supports Local Artists in Corporate Collection
Apr 14, 2014 0 Comments
(Ann Ramos Desrosier and Christina Leigh stand next to a Ron Lister painting in BayCoast Bank's conference room, photo courtesy of The Herald News.)   When one thinks of a bank, it’s not likely the next thought would be artwork...
Go to full post
Energy Companies Help Fuel the Houston Arts Scene
Apr 11, 2014 0 Comments
(Cloud Gate Dance Theater of Taiwan visits Houston in April, presented by Society for the Performing Arts, whose 2013-14 season is underwritten by Reliant Energy. Photo courtesy of The Houston Chronicle.)   The following article...
Go to full post
It's National Volunteer Week!
Apr 07, 2014 0 Comments
National Volunteer Week is this week -- April 6-12, 2014. A program of Points of Light and sponsored by Advil® as a part of the Advil® Relief in Action campaign, National Volunteer Week is about taking action and encouraging...
Go to full post
Blue Moon Shines Brightly on Americans for the Arts
Apr 01, 2014 0 Comments
On March 1, Blue Moon Brewing Company took to the skies of Brooklyn, NY, to celebrate the lunar new moon, promote their “artfully crafted” brand of beer, and raise money for Americans for the Arts through a Twitter campaign...
Go to full post
Introducing Delta Airlines Innovation Class
Mar 28, 2014 0 Comments
Introducing Delta Airlines Innovation Class, a mentoring program at 35,000 feet! Delta is using its time up in the air to connect an innovator of today in the fields of business, art and technology with a leader of tomorrow...
Go to full post
Bank of Tennessee Supports the Birthplace of Country Music Museum
Mar 26, 2014 0 Comments
Bank of Tennessee recently pledged $100,000 to a new museum being built by the Birthplace of Country Music, a nonprofit music organization in Bristol, VA/TN. The museum is scheduled to open this August in downtown Bristol.  ...
Go to full post
Happy Arts Advocacy Day 2014!
Mar 24, 2014 0 Comments
Hosted by Americans for the Arts and cosponsored by 85+ national arts organizations, Arts Advocacy Day is the largest gathering of its kind, bringing together a broad cross section of America's cultural and civic organizations...
Go to full post
Business and the arts: Why they need each other
Mar 20, 2014 0 Comments
The goals of the arts, culture and creative sectors are often viewed as separate from or counter to those of the business community. The Arts & Business Council of Greater Philadelphia is working hard to change this perception...
Go to full post
Lincoln Financial Group Leads 2014 United Arts Campaign in Hartford
Mar 19, 2014 0 Comments
The Greater Hartford Arts Council is proud to announce that Lincoln Financial Group will chair the 2014 United Arts Campaign, reflecting the company’s unwavering dedication to the arts and cultural community in Central Connecticut...
Go to full post
Get in the "Arts Zone" with 'AutoZone: The Opera'
Mar 14, 2014 0 Comments
How does AutoZone get in the "arts zone"? By presenting 'AutoZone: The Opera', of course!   It may come as a surprise that the American automotive parts and accessories retailer is not just obsessed with carborators and fan...
Go to full post
Absolut Drinks Up the Texas Landscape
Mar 10, 2014 0 Comments
Absolut, the Swedish vodka brand, has just released the 8th addition to its US-themed flavors—Absolut Texas, a cucumber and serrano chili infused vodka with a befittingly iconic original artistic label. The company has been releasing...
Go to full post

Get our Business Newsletter

your email

We protect your info. See our privacy statement.

Arts Tweets

Already a partner?

Already a partner?

Learn some easy ways to take your partnership to a new level.

Use our ads locally

Use our ads locally

View the pARTnership Movement ad campaign and see how you can use them.

pARTnership videos

pARTnership videos

Watch and share our videos from The pARTnership Movement.

Partnership ideas

Partnership ideas

Inspire employees with tickets to the ballet or a concert.

Are you an arts group?

Are you an arts group?

Get listed in our searchable directory.

Recruit talent

Recruit talent

Employees want to live and work in a vibrant community.