Defining the Importance of Art in America

Regarding the Opinion page article "A Comprehensive Arts Policy Is Good Politics and Good For America," Aug. 24: I'm glad to read an article that attempts to discuss some problems of a grossly overlooked element of American culture - namely art. Unfortunately, the article addresses only by what means art should be supported, such as financially, technically, and legally. It implies and assumes that the government, foundations, and cities already know why they should support the arts. Why it's good for Am erica is not clear.

America's all-consuming love affair with facts, sciences, and statistics avoids dealing with a missing link - our need to express life in terms of history, metaphor, and symbol.

Just saying that art "would make this nation much richer" begs the question: Why would it be richer? How can we justify the purpose of art by finding ways to raise money, offering technical and legal assistance, and where to promote it, without knowing how it moves us? Stephen Korbet, Concord, Mass.

Letters are welcome. Only a selection can be published, subject to condensation, and none acknowledged. Please address them to "Readers Write," One Norway St., Boston, MA 02115.

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