Arts and Culture

Freedom of artistic expression is a fundamental right, and is a key element in empowering communities and moving us toward sustainability and respect for diversity.

Artists can create in ways that foster healthy, non-alienating relationships between people and their daily environments, communities, and the Earth. This includes artists whose themes advocate compassion, nurturance, or cooperation; artists whose creations unmask the often obscure connections between various forms of violence, domination, and oppression; and artists who effectively criticize or mock aspects of the very community that supports their artistic activity. The arts can only perform their social function if they are completely free from outside control. In the performing arts, the Green Party criticizes the development of a centralized culture industry that encourages the marketing of "culture" and star worship by passive cultural consumers. Rather, we favor alternative, community-based systems which treat neither the artwork nor the artist as a commodity. In the visual arts, we deplore the use of the artwork as an investment tool, which is a result of the general commodification of the artwork.
Appreciation of and activity in the arts is important to all people, not only to "professional artists." The Green Party wishes to extend a variety of living arts experiences to every interested citizen:
Oppose all laws which seek to restrict or censor artistic expression, including withholding of government funds for political or moral content. We specifically state our support for the unique visions and voices of artists underrepresented in the intstitutionalized arts mainstream, including but not limited to women, people of color, people with disabilities, people of alternate sexual preferences and life-styles, and children.
Increase funding for the arts at all levels of government. Funding amounts should be appropriate to the arts' essential social roles.
Encourage community-funded programs, employing local artists, to enrich communities through public art programs. These could include, but not limited to, public performances, exhibitions, murals on public buildings, design or re-design of parks and public areas, storytelling and poetry reading, and publication of local writers.
Encourage the establishment of non-profit public forums for local artists to display their talents and creations to interested members of their community. These forums would be offered with equal access to all interested artists.
Help decentralize the art world by promoting development of cultural institutions outside of the large cities where they are now concentrated. We Also wish to fund widely traveling exhibitions, concerts, performances and film programs.
Include architecture and landscape in zoning and building permit decisions. We encourage enlivening, appropriately-scaled and designed styles in our communities.
Promote research, public dialogue, and trial experiments to develop alternative systems for the valuation and exchange of artworks, and for the financial support of artists - such as community subscriber support groups, artwork rental trusts, cooperative support systems among artists, legal or financial incentives to donate to the arts or to donate artworks to public museums.
Urge artists to support a sustainable society by making responsible choices of non-toxic, renewable, or recyclable materials, and by choosing funding sources not connected with social injustice or environmental destruction.
Establish educational programs in the community that will energize the creativity of every community member from the youngest to the oldest, including neglected groups such as teenagers, senior citizens, prisoners, immigrants, and drug addicts. These programs would provide materials and access to qualified arts educators to every member of the community who demonstrates an interest.
Incorporate arts education studies and activities into every school curriculum, with appropriate funding and staffing. We also encourage local artists and the community to contribute time, experience, and resources to these efforts.
Encourage diversity in arts education in the schools. This includes age-specific hands-on activities and appreciative / theoretical approaches; exposure to the arts of various cultures and stylistic traditions; and experience with a variety of media, techniques and contents. We support the integration of the arts and artistic teaching methods into other areas of the curriculum to promote a holistic perspective.