Michelle Obama cut the ribbon yesterday at the reopening of the Met's Charles Engelhart Court, and she delivered some remarks on the importance of the arts that were extremely welcome:
The Obamas in fact had their first date at a museum, a fact that comes up in the body of the story. The First Lady also reminded everyone that "Arts and cultural activities contribute more than $160 billion to our economy every year."
"The arts are not just a nice thing to have or to do if there is free time or if one can afford it," she said at the museum. "Rather, paintings and poetry, music and fashion, design and dialogue, they all define who we are as a people and provide an account of our history for the next generation."
"The president and I want to ensure that all children have access to great works of art," she told a crowd that included students from four New York City public schools that focus on the arts. "We want all children who believe in their talent to see a way to create a future for themselves in the arts community, either as a hobby or as a profession."...
"My husband and I believe strongly that arts education is essential for building innovative thinkers who will be our nation's leaders for tomorrow..."
[photo from Gothamist]