The Compassionate Imagination
How the Arts Are Central to a Functioning Democracy
A radical reimagining of the role of art and culture in contemporary democracy, The Compassionate Imagination proposes a new Canadian Cultural Contract that re-humanizes our way of living together by tapping into the instincts for generosity and compassion that find their expression in art. Over the last forty years, the arts have been increasingly 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 deemed "unnecessary" courses compared to sciences, technology, engineering, and mathematics. But what kind of Canada might we make if we were to place art and culture at the heart of our mutual decision-making, and return the arts to a central position in our education, shifting to steam rather than stem? What might be possible if we integrate the creative imagination into our responses to the great social challenges we face? What impact would it have on the future shape of our democracy? It's time to find where the Compassionate Imagination can take us.
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