“Art is a nation’s most precious heritage, for it is in our works of art that we reveal to ourselves and others the inner vision which guides us as a people. And where there is no vision, the people perish.” – Lyndon Johnson
Christopher Butterfield, composer and Professor of Composition at the University of Victoria, speaking on the legislature steps at the Arts Matter rally in Victoria today:
“I never thought in my life that I’d quote Lyndon Johnson, but he made a rather extraordinary statement. Now remember this is an American president saying this, and I’ve never heard any politician in this country, at a federal or provincial or any other level, use these words. This is what he said: “Art is a nation’s most precious heritage, for it is in our works of art that we reveal to ourselves and others the inner vision which guides us as a people. And where there is no vision, the people perish.” I would like Mr. Campbell, or his minister of culture, to get up in the legislature and quote those words of Lyndon Johnson. I would like them to guarantee the arts in this province, not just a future but a future long beyond the time everybody is dead and gone. I’d like us to grow.”
Thanks to Christopher Ruffell for the video (click below), which also features a speech by Dianne Searle which makes the excellent point that these cuts are not about economics, since it’s proven arts funding is a lucrative investment for the government. Christopher Butterfield’s speech begins at 4:05.