Is Nelson still a great little arts town?

With curtains closed on KHAOS's Nelson shows and cuts facing Kootenay School of the Arts this week's editorial looks at the arts.

It is safe to say our economy and education system doesn’t promote careers in the arts.

Making the decision to be a painter or potter means taking up a part-time job or living close to the poverty line.

Nelson is proud of its arts culture. Nothing emphasized this more than last week’s premiere of KHAOS which showcased our artistic talent at its best.

What was perhaps even more impressive than the stage design, the lyrical work and the strong voices was that people in our community donated large sums of money to not only make sure KHAOS became a reality but to pay co-creators Don MacDonald and Nicola Harwood.

Meanwhile, as arts lovers gathered at the Capitol Theatre, Selkirk College prepared to make major changes to a program that promotes arts more than any other in this town, namely the Kootenay School of the Arts.

Several disciplines at KSA are being reduced from two-year diploma programs to one-year certificate program. The number of students appears to drop off after first year. Why?

We’re sure it’s not uncommon for some fine arts students to hear “What are you really going to do with your life?” Perhaps the pressure becomes overwhelming and students are left choosing more “sensible” careers like nursing, teaching, or trades.

But as a place that prides itself on being a great little arts town, we think we should do more to promote this gem, encouraging the arts, and the students who come here.

The world has enough lawyers and doctors. When historians look back on the mark we leave on the world, they will be looking for the great art — books, paintings, ceramics, metal work, and fibre works.

If we are a great little arts town, we need to promote careers in all sectors that fulfill the passions of our future generations — not just fill their bank accounts.