I’ll never forget an editorial I read years ago, found via Thomas Cott’s excellent daily arts industry digest, You’ve Cott Mail (see what he did there?).
Cott’s headline was “The Crucial Role of ‘Middlebrow’ Arts,” though a few clicks through Google reveal that the original blog post, by Clayton Lord, bore a more direct title: “Funny, Catchy and Not Too Challenging, or ‘At some point, you’re just an elitist f*ck.'”
In it, Lord argues persuasively that it’s detrimental to art in its highest forms to look down on popular works, because it’s by mainstream culture that people become curious about what lies beyond.
In other words, being a theater snob by praising Sondheim and discounting Webber conveniently forgets that I fell in love with musicals through popular works like Les Miserables and Miss Saigon. One does not typically start her musical theater love affair with Merrily We Roll Along or Company (though she tips her hat to any of you whose first theatrical loves were that complicated and divine).
Here at Pregame Magazine, we’re proud to have showcased a diverse collection of emerging and established visual artists each month, as well as creative influencers in dance, theater, film, television, and of course, the literary arts.
Despite the degree of creativity that your hustle requires, we can all benefit from the rewards of immersing ourselves in the arts. They inspire us, make us think, bring us together, and provoke real change.
Take time this month to discover a new piece of your local culture. The gardens are in full bloom, symphony seasons are reaching a crescendo, and longer days mean neighborhood fairs and music festivals.
Go! Explore, create, be moved.
Strategy & Style,
Artwork: Detail from El Anatsui, Red Block, 2010, on exhibit at The Broad, Los Angeles.