We often think of art as an individual act and the artist as a solitary figure working alone, but art is a collective activity that requires the cooperation of a number of people and a wide range of activities.

There is a whole world of individuals – an Art World - who contribute to the creation of art. This art world (sociologist Howard Becker wrote the book “Art Worlds”) is made up of artists and material suppliers, distributors, business members, critics, and audience members. All of these people make is possible for artists to create and share art.

  • Example - Art & Materials - We very rarely think about the art materials – paint, clay, instruments, costumes but the people who make and sell art materials are necessary to the creation of art.

  • Example - Art & the Audience – Art needs an audience, that includes people who weekend movie,hold season tickets to the opera or listen to music.

So, why is this important?

Art is important to the community and looking at art as a collective activity, and not the act of an individual, is important because is helps us better understand what art and artists contribute to the community. This understanding can help to make the case for funding arts programs, for using art in community-building activities and it gives us with a holistic view of arts place in our world.

Example - Economics & Art – The art help to create jobs and influence production. Art does not begin and end with the artist; instead creating art requires the action of other individuals and businesses.

Example - Community & Art -Art helps to create social connections and relationships in the community. People attending art events – which may range from a movie, live music or a gallery show – and socialize with others. Art creates a reason for people to gather and have a shared experience.

When you think about the art world, all of the people and activities that support art and artist, you can better understand how important art is. Art impacts the community in many ways.

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