Giving thanks

It’s time to wish all our readers and our community a heartfelt thanks for supporting New Orleans and Louisiana music and culture.

Of course, you enjoy and love our art, but your support at clubs, events, galleries, art markets, concerts, and festivals is crucial to not only to the businesses that provide the opportunity for you to enjoy art and culture, it’s absolutely essential to the artists themselves.

When we enjoy music (I’ll use that as an all-encompassing term to include all cultural “products”), most people don’t relate to the fact that the music they are loving is the way that these artists make a living: they pay the rent, support their kids, pay their taxes, feed themselves (and their kids), clothe themselves, buy gas, etc.: all the stuff that people who are not artists to when they get their paychecks.

Artists and musicians usually don’t have a steady paycheck; their art is their work. If they don’t play a gig, they don’t get paid. If they don’t sell their pottery at the art market, they don’t get paid. And so on. They make a living making art. If you work for someone else, you can look forward to getting your paycheck every couple of weeks. Artists can’t.

So all musicians and artists have to truly act as entrepreneurs. The fact is, though, that a creative mind isn’t one that necessarily good at taking care of business (I think two different sides of the brain handle creative vs. business pursuits!). Anyone who’s started their own business can testify how hard it is to not only start a business, but to keep it vital and growing.

I’ve ranted before about how artists are not valued in America as they are in other countries. It’s very true. Creative people need support in many different ways: not so much that they need to be taken care of; their creative activities need to be cherished and nurtured and supported, even if what their creative output is not necessarily our cup of tea. Without music, art and culture, well, the lives of “normal” people would be a lot less rich, don’t you agree?

So this Thanksgiving weekend, go out and patronize a club, buy some local art, go to a concert or a play. Support your artists, wherever you may live, and give thanks that they have that creative spark that makes our lives a lot brighter.

Take our Weekly Poll and get a chance to enjoy Jambalaya, The Musical at the Orpheum Theater on December 2.