Creating the Future, Saving Our World?

Tennessee drivers: did you know you can do something as simple as putting a colorful, creative, and unique license plate on your car to support the arts across the entire state? Yes, for a mere $35 you can support the Tennessee Arts Commission that gives out $6 million a year to the arts,

Tennessee's newest license plate ART: Creating the Future with 90 percent of the proceeds going to the Tennessee Arts Commission.

Tennessee’s newest license plate ART: Creating the Future with 90 percent of the proceeds going to the Tennessee Arts Commission.

As the newest arts license plate designer–the winner of a statewide competition three years ago–Nashville-based Leslie Haines said in a January Tennessean article, “You spend $30,000 or whatever on your car, you want to put something on there that you think represents your aesthetic, your sensibility.”

Check out the entire article at:

http://www.tennessean.com/interactive/article/20140108/NEWS21/301080090/Tennessee-arts-rides-heavily-sale-specialty-license-plates

An actual Arts Commission license plate that I saw in Knoxville this month.

An actual Arts Commission license plate that I saw in Knoxville this month.

Last year (or was it the year before?) I read that the Arts Commission was looking for Tennesseans willing to pony up the $35 in advance in the hope that there be enough interested people to meet the state’s requirements for a new license plate. So much time had passed that I had forgotten about the whole thing when to my great joy, I got a letter earlier this month saying my license plate was ready to pick up here in Knoxville.

Of course, I went down straight away, got my license plate, and was overjoyed to see that it is by far (in my estimation) Tennessee’s best arts plate with the perfect motto for the arts: Creating the Future.

For when an artist draws a portrait from a blank canvas and a writer studying a blank page writes a book, they create something new. And it takes on a life of its own.

This pastoral scene, the opposite of the mayhem he created in real life, was supposedly painted by Adolph Hitler.

This pastoral scene, the opposite of the mayhem he created in real life, was supposedly painted by Adolph Hitler.

My theory of why humankind has engaged in so many wars is that for too many people the artistic impulse is thwarted and not allowed to grow. Case in point: if Germany’s notorious dictator Adolph Hitler had been accepted to the artistic academy where he sought admission, there is a good chance our world could have averted the catastrophic World War that killed millions and, in a real sense, changed life on Earth forever.

World War II children rescued with their toys.

World War II children rescued with their toys.

Consider the children who were never born or had no childhood, the young men and women who never had a chance to grow up, the inventions never imagined, the problems never solved, the masterpieces not composed, the lives cut short, the songs never sung. I was born a good many years after World War II ended, but the anguish of that war haunts me nonetheless in all that was lost.

Arts education has been hammered by school systems throughout the country. The downturn in the economy has resulted in the reduction of arts funding in virtually every state and hamlet in the nation. Some would say that supporting the creative arts does little to make life better or feed the hungry, but I submit that having the hope to realize your potential is the grist, the seed that can fire a dream of a better tomorrow.

Such a dream could create the future.

//Anna – 2/28/2014

About aamontgomery

Seeing new possibilities in everyday things
This entry was posted in Creativity, Knoxville, Op/Ed Thoughts, The Arts and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Creating the Future, Saving Our World?

  1. Kurt Weiss says:

    Such a cool way to support the arts in Tennessee. I also have this license tag.

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