“Arts and Leisure”: The Language Conspiracy of the 21st Century

The title prevents society from seeing the critical role of the arts hold in daily life as an essential component to solving today’s issues.

Written By: Holly Zajur

One of the best mornings I ever had (and trust me, I love my mornings) was after I had done a light yoga practice, slipped on complementary hotel slippers, and saw The New York Times laying at my fuzzy feet. I picked up the paper and dragged my soon to be caffeinated body down the hallway. I stumbled into the Concierge Lounge at the Lowes (I know, not real life, I have these Fairy God Parents…), grabbed my coffee, sat down at a table with a chessboard away from all other humans, and opened up a beautifully crafted reading playground.

My mind was blown. The content was riveting. Articles were progressive. And for a second there, I thought people were really using their brains and stimulating change. But then, I turned to “Arts and Leisure” and my hopes for humans were shot down.

I mean come on, “Arts and Leisure”? In an attempt to appreciate art, the subset that we place it under completely derails its inherent value. The title prevents society from seeing the critical role of the arts hold in daily life as an essential component to solving today’s issues. And the stunning part to me is The New York Times understands this. They are smart people. They appreciate the arts. But just like the rest of the world, they are trapped under the umbrella thinking of art as a treat for the elite, rather than an integral part of life.

No wonder funding for the arts is rapidly decreasing in schools around the US when titles like “Arts and Leisure” undermine their capacity. New York Times, I love you, but until we alter our language, we are disabling the arts from moving beyond luxury and into necessity.

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