I see America as an arts country a lot of the time. Maybe that’s because I live in the suburbs of Philadelphia, which is first and foremost an artsy city. I’ve been involved in comedy, music, movies, dancing, lots of art museums, crafts, have antiques, that sort of thing.

I grew up in a family where the arts were valued. My brother is an architect and my parents are both musicians. I don’t think this really registered in my life until I was in my twenties and I was kind of searching for a career and way of life. A lot of my parents friends are artists on the side or at least have heavy artistic leanings so that factored in as well.

When I realized I was sort of a failure at all the jobs I tried after college and knew that my choices for a real career were limited, I decided to embrace the arts full force, which is no easy task when you make about $10,000 a year and have to kind of support yourself.

It kind of saved my life, the art world. It gave me purpose and a foundation for life. Because when you embrace the arts, you embrace life, all life, whether it’s rich or poor, sane or insane, messy or clean.

I get frustrated when I see the mass media with crazy big budget superhero movies and reality shows galore dominate arts as we know it in the mainstream. I kind of want to scream, but that’s not reality! I’ve been to folk festivals, craft shows, off the radar theater productions and dances, and I sometimes feel that the mainstream version of art has its days numbered. Maybe this pandemic will teach us to value the small things in life, however offbeat they may be.

Sometimes I hope that because of the recession and the drastic changes that have come to America, arts on the fringe will flourish more and people will see that there’s more to life than TV. Because during this time of reflection and isolation, we should discover our inner spirit and experiment with our (hopefully) heavy artistic leanings.