I received this email this morning and, with Katie’s permission, thought it was so well said I had to share it.
I just wanted to let you know that I found your ETA and Lisa’s Clarinet Shop websites via David Cutler’s Savvy Musician site, and I really appreciate what you are doing.Â I am a clarinetist starting the second year of my DMA in performance at the University of South Carolina, and your ideas pertaining to entrepreneurship as an artist really resonate with me.Â I also feel that there is a whole world of opportunity out there where creative people can utilize their strengths and serve others in “The Good Fight.”Â I think so many musicians don’t want to talk about business and money because 1.) we are sick of not having it 2.) we believe it is our duty not to have it, and 3.) we don’t want to be a part of “corporate America” as we know it.Â Us artistic types are (and thankfully so!) notorious idealists.Â We understand—through our intimate, spiritual relationship with the arts— that beauty has real value, that this life isn’t just something to be thrown out with the garbage, yet, so many business capitalize on the ugliness in the world and we would rather be poor than be a part of that!
As artists we are in a position to sell something that heals— not hurts— anyone and everyone.Â It is so easy to fault the government, or our culture, or even sports for the sorry state of the arts in America.Â However, we are pointing our fingers at the wrong people.Â You can’t blame people for not wanting something they don’t know exists and have never really experienced.Â Only when we are finally thinking out of the full-time orchestra gig/ tenured-track college gig/ military band gig-shaped box will we become a driving force in this economy, and a force that shapes American culture and changes lives for the better.Â All of those jobs are great, but why be limited to them?