Everything connects. And it always has.
Think for a moment about the arts and entertainment. These expressions of dance, film, literature, music, television, theater, and the visual arts do not take place in a vacuum. Despite a society’s best efforts to compartmentalize them or deem them trivial or less important, they intersect with each of the planet’s most important dynamics.
In order to assert my point, here’s a lengthy, although not exhaustive, sampling of these dynamics and their impact on the arts:
Crime: Reduces creative outlets, ideas, and venues
Economics: Financial support and budgetary prioritization are significant
Education: Emphasis and prioritization within standard curricula make a big difference
Environment: What’s observed by the senses can inspire or detract
Expatriates: Great lifestyle for learning, growing, and creating
Gender: Impacts the perspectives, emotions, and needs of the artist
Health: Affects creative energy and productivity for better or worse
Integral Thinking: Enables artists to tap into many dimensions of life, producing richer work
Mindfulness: Paying attention to one’s thoughts, emotions, and sensory data deepens artistic expression
Politics: Can inspire and necessitate numerous viewpoints
Race: Offers a diversity of expression and insight
Relationships: Create powerful, and sometimes painful, moments for artists to express
Spirituality: A predominant influence of artistic viewpoints and yearnings
Science: New discoveries can inspire new ways of thinking about works of art
Social Media: Offers more avenues than ever for promoting and selling one’s work
Sports: Can inspire artists to give it their all and practice their craft with discipline and grit
Technology: Has changed both the artistic medium and the message
Vocation: The most dedicated artists can often find a way to make a living
War/International Relations: Can catalyze expression, and sometimes suppression, of the arts
It is no wonder that, throughout western history, artists have been the ones who most profoundly communicate the emotions, perspectives, and yearnings that are common to those within their communities. The best artists possess and cultivate an intuitive sense of connecting the dots between so many of these different dynamics, seeing how each impacts the whole.
Each of us, artist or not, would do well to grow our own integral thinking and see that no action is too small to not impact the interrelated system we call life on Earth.