I applaud Mary Ellen Fuller’s May 7 guest column, “Let’s create more grass-roots artistry.” Art is the mirror of society. It is the spark that ignites greatness as it inspires us.
History teaches us that so much of what we know of past cultures is through the art that has survived them. What then does withholding money for the arts say about our leaders? South Carolina is a small state, but it swells with talent that deserves to be recognized, encouraged and, as Ms. Fuller suggested, used as a vehicle for progress.
McKissick Museum in Columbia, a jewel of a folk-life museum, is doing just that. Recently, in conjunction with the Jean Laney Harris Folk Heritage Award, McKissick held a festival on the USC Horseshoe. It featured Palmetto State folk artists ranging from storytellers to potters. The public ate it up.
On Sept. 20, that same museum will sponsor a juried art show and gala. With the grass-roots arts movement rolling all around our state, we hope our elected leaders will take a deep breath and get their priorities in order. Help the people, as Ms. Fuller suggests “build a bridge to the arts.” We need our art; we want our art.
Jean E. Kanes