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What happens when Culture stops? I shudder to think of the possibility!

On March 10th, 2011, Rhode Island cultural organizations and creative businesses – from theaters to libraries to design houses and retail establishments – will join big and little people from across the country in recognizing Culture Stops!, a Rhode Island-grown national day of action to draw attention to the impact of proposed federal budget cuts that will greatly affect the creative sector of the United States. The group’s focus is not simply on dollars and cents, however. They maintain that creative thought is the lifeblood of democracy and that it’s our job as citizens to protect it.

I cannot imagine a day without culture – it’s how we live and breathe in our home. My husband and I value a creative world and try to provide our children with as many cultural opportunities  as possible. One of the reasons I started Kidoinfo was to share many of the fabulous cultural happenings in the city – not necessarily geared for kids but totally fabulous for kids – with other families.

I support Providence Community Library’s statement in response to proposed cuts by Congress and the President, to federal funding for the arts and humanities, heritage and preservation, museums and libraries, arts education and a host of related federal programs that quietly fuel the creative sector:

We understand and accept that our country’s economic crisis demands shared sacrifice, but we see these cuts as uneven and disproportionate. We believe that Congress needs to apply reductions fairly and evenly – but that it must not balance the federal budget at the expense of the millions of people who add critical vitality to American life. The issue is not only an economic one, but also a moral one. Arts and culture feeds the minds and fuels the souls of Americans. Seriously weakening these creative forces seriously weakens our country.

 On March 10th, 2011, cultural organizations and creative businesses – from theaters to libraries to design houses and bookstores – are being asked to stop work for eight minutes to a full eight hours in recognition of a possible future without their knowledge and services. 

Taking part in this day of action, PCL will open each of its nine libraries to the public 15 minutes later than normally scheduled.  This may seem like a small, symbolic gesture, but we sincerely hope that it is not a harbinger of the future.

For more information, visit www.culturestops.org. To support the “what happens when culture stops” movement, Kidoinfo asks you (and your kids) to tell at least one person today (such as a teacher, librarian, baker, gardener, artist, writer, child, etc.) why they “matter.”

If could, I would thank my elementary school art teacher, Mrs. Kick for sharing her love of art, making things and positive energy and allowing me to hang out in her awesome art room often. She shaped how I see the world today.

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