The Compassionate Imagination: How the Arts Are Central to a Functioning Democracy (Paperback)
Built on fifty years of experience observing the growth of Canadian culture, The Compassionate Imagination is a radical reimagining of the role of art and culture in contemporary democracy. It proposes a new Canadian Cultural Contract that re-humanizes our way of living together by tapping into our instincts for generosity and compassion that find their expression in art.
Through the 1980s, the arts were deemed unimportant to the creation of an educated workforce. Reflecting a broadly-held political view that in a market-based economy the arts were "a frill", they were displaced by what were deemed "necessary" courses -- Sciences, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics.
But with the COVID-19 pandemic moving into our rearview mirrors, what kind of Canada might we make if we were to place art and culture at the heart of our mutual decision-making, return the arts to a central position in our education system -- S.T.E.A.M. rather than S.T.E.M. -- and ensure that all Canadians have access to our wealth of artistic practice and imaginative product?