Being an artist during difficult times


I wrote the following after the Trump inauguration, when the suggestion of eliminating the NEA and NEH surfaced. I shared it with my old high school, hoping it might do even a glimmer of good. And it is a sentiment worth revisiting often… your art matters. And art helps push forward the resistance.

To any worried young musicians, writers, dancers, photographers, and anyone who dares to learn an art –

Your art, whatever it is, matters. You will create everything beautiful in this life. When you tell people you want to dedicate your time to mastering music, dance, etc they may laugh and tell you that you’re committing yourself to a life of poverty. But it isn’t funny. I hope there is someone in your corner cheering you on, telling you it’s going to be really fucking hard but if you want it, you need to go and work for it. If you don’t have that person, I will always be in your corner.

People who wag their finger at you will listen to music, watch TV, they read things. They consume the blood, sweat, and tears of people like you. You have your hand in everything that is beautiful. No matter what happens to the NEA and NEH we will probably always need to put up the good fight. Countless people have stood and continue to stand in your corner. Art matters. YOUR art matters.

There’s a long, hard fight ahead of us, but this isn’t new. You are the descendants of Keith Haring, of Woody Guthrie, of Audre Lorde, and everyone who has dared to rise to the challenge.

And I just want to welcome you to the family.

All my best,

Danielle Prostrollo

Picture used under Creative Commons license


4 thoughts on “Being an artist during difficult times

  1. I agree with these sentiments so much. I cheer on the writer, composer, musician, painter, etc. Partially because my partner is a collaborative pianist, and I know how much hard work he is putting into the music he plays. But also because I too love to write and surround myself with art in all its form. It adds so much value to our lives that I think a good chunk of your “society” doesn’t always associate the work with any value–“hence” your term poverty, which signifies a lack of wealth or value.



    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Jon, I’m so glad you found value in this post. Perhaps someday we (the creative community) will figure out how to show people the innate value in our work.


  2. Falling in love with your craft Danielle and keeping the passion alive through persistent practice is the key. No matter what happens outside of me, I am writing thousands of words daily and meeting new bloggers, helping, promoting and assisting. Super message here.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Ryan! You’re absolutely right. My hope is that the message gets across to all who might need to hear it. Thanks for the great comment 🙂


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