President Biden has declared his top priorities to be Covid, Covid, and Covid! He has vowed to deliver 100 million vaccines in his first 100 days. I’m hopeful that an expedited, coherent vaccine rollout will take place in America and that herd immunity will be achieved by year’s end. From there, the real work of rebuilding will begin.
Right after “democracy,” culture is America’s most important export. The pandemic, the insurrection, and general social unrest are taking their toll on the former, so we need the latter more than ever. Not since 1945 has America undergone the type of trauma we’ve seen the past few years.
I believe music can help us heal. But the arts and culture communities are at an economic standstill. Select industries (tech, stocks) are exploding in this K-shaped recovery but they are the exceptions. The creators that keep the nation’s heart beating have been less fortunate.
There are talks of hiring a Dr. Fauci of Culture, or even putting together a full-bore Department of Culture. I would love to see a blueprint for a new federal cultural initiative that treats artists as essential workers and understand that culture is a linchpin of economic recovery.
Time will tell. Biden and Harris have a chance to write the new history of this nation. Will the arts play a part? It won’t happen magically, so every brand marketer has a responsibility to pay attention. As Biden said himself, we need to “build back better” and I believe that means including artists, thought leaders, and marketers from the culture industries. This could be one of the great turning points in our lives. Get involved!
Also published on Medium.