The fact is that we are living in a time when the decision to be an artist, to continue to create in spite of everything that’s happening around us, IS a radical political act. This is, I feel, quite a dark time, potentially destructive to the best and most noble aspects of the human spirit. And that’s precisely why it is terribly important for artists in all disciplines to continue to create, even when it feels like there’s little market and little appreciation for our work. Just doing it, and making the difficult decision to continue to do it — to live creative lives that celebrate what life is and can be — is both defiant and affirming, and it’s crucially important. People need to know that someone they know — a neighbor, a friend, a cousin — is committed to the arts. Young people particularly need to know this.