Dana Gioia, chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts, gave the commencement address at Stanford last month. Here are a couple excerpts:
What is the defining difference between passive and active citizens?Curiously, it isn't income, geography, or even education. It depends on whether or not they read for pleasure and participate in the arts. These cultural activities seem to awaken a heightened sense of individual awareness and social responsibility.
Art addresses us in the fullness of our being—simultaneously speaking to our intellect, emotions, intuition, imagination, memory, and physical senses. There are some truths about life that can be expressed only as stories, or songs, or images.
Read his full address here.