Defining Arts and Entertainment

8 Mar

In the Oxford English dictionary, art is defined as “the expression or application of human creative skill and imagination” which can produce work that can be appreciated for possessing emotional power or beauty. Alternatively, the arts is outlined as “the various branches of creative activity, such as painting, music, literature, and dance.” For entertainment, the esteemed dictionary describes it as “the action of providing or being provided with amusement or enjoyment.” If we turn to Wikipedia, we find that entertainment is considered “an action, event or activity that aims to entertain, amuse and interest a public.”

While art and entertainment carry their own independent definitions, they are subjects that share a lot in common and continue to blur together. When we try to picture what art is in our heads, we instantly conjure up images such as a painting, a sculpture, a play, poetry, dance, music, etc. Common images of entertainment that pop in our minds include television, movies, rap stars, and more. The former subjects, however, can be considered to contain both entertainment and artistic value. Sculptures, paintings, and other forms provide enlightenment and entertainment for our minds. Music as a highly regarded art form is also a major source of entertainment for the masses. Just count how many times a popular song has been downloaded on iTunes or the number of screaming fans at a Lady Gaga concert (who she deems appropriately “Little Monsters”). And most people can see how a play or musical contains element of artistic expression and entertainment.

While art and entertainment appear to share similar values, it is entertainment that gets the most attention in this country through a variety of media outlets. We tune in to our favorite TV shows, take pleasure in eating salt and butter infused pop corn while watching the latest film (good or bad) from Hollywood, discover and download songs that are burning up the charts, etc. Every week the entertainment industry works hard to deliver to us products and content for profit physically and digitally. And in return, we become influenced by this very content almost immediately.

At the same time, there is also a great quantity of art being produced. For example, there are new exhibitions and art galleries opening every week, but that scratches the surface of what is available for us to experience creatively and artistically. There are festivals, conferences, plays, dance performances, concerts, and an unlimited and sometimes unfiltered stream of art popping up all the time. Hopefully each arts-based event will make you think, inspire you, challenge you or demonstrate the different worlds surrounding you.

Participating in this realm as an artist or spectator does wonders for the soul and the mind. Making, producing, and performing art is what allows us examine and explore our humanity or a particular subject honestly. We might be called into acton to fight for a cause or end an injustice. Beauty and presentation may be the top two layers to a performance or event, but you have to look past those two obvious elements in art — there might be a great meaning, theme, message, etc. within it. Art is not just pretty. It’s honest, messy, and controversial.

There is also a formula that art can follow with too: Act + React + Talk = ART. Why does a formula like this matter so much? Think about it for now and come back later for a deeper discussion behind this.

—GM

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2 Responses to “Defining Arts and Entertainment”

  1. Anne March 8, 2012 at 12:59 pm #

    Wow George! I taught you well in 2nd grade! No seriously, this is inspiring writing!

    • gravail44 March 9, 2012 at 5:04 am #

      Thank you so much Mrs. Vuotto, that really, really means a lot to me! Yes, you did teach me well in the 2nd grade! 🙂

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