By: Kenyon Adams, originally posted on the Center for Faith & Work.

Last fall I had the pleasure and honor of contributing to the National Arts Policy Roundtable, an inspired gathering engendered in the minds of Robert Redford and his friend Robert Lynch (President of Americans for the Arts). The roundtable was recently discussed in the article Remaking America Through the Arts on The Huffington Post. For obvious reasons, they are known as “the two Bobs”. For one power-packed weekend I sat around what was more of a squarish table with former NEA heads, arts loving Mayors (Nutter!), inspiring thought leaders, art foundations, and of course, artists (of whom I was one). The goal of this annual weekend held at the Sundance Institute is to critically assess the current state of the arts (participants received an extensive advance briefing) based on research from the arts data ninjas at Americans for the Arts and to respond with clear action steps which in previous years resulted in lobbying activities (ie the two Bobs leading a march into the capital and demanding change on behalf of the arts). The weekend was a poignant demonstration of how the Spirit works to connect disparate sectors through the arts. Representatives from American Express and Microsoft and the academy sat across from blues singers in dialogue about the dangerous decline of arts appreciation and design- thinking across the sectors. A highlight for me was the seeming unanimous agreement with Mr. Redford that “art matters because God created the world.” Bravo Mr. Redfords and God Bless Americans for the Arts!

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