December 8, 2022

News Science

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Yo-Yo Ma on why he isn’t worried about support for the arts faltering post-pandemic

2 min read

Yo-Yo Ma said he wasn’t worried in the long term about a decline in support for the arts during the pandemic because artists — musicians, poets, actors, illustrators, among others — can still provide a service that affect people’s collective well-being.

As priorities shift toward more immediate needs during the pandemic, the celebrated cellist told the PBS NewsHour that people can turn to artists for resilience during the crisis by going back to basic values and telling the truth.

That resilience can be created by "making sure that whatever you do, you are building trust," Ma said of artists, adding that they ought to make sure "that no matter what you do, you’re trying to do something in the service of somebody else because that’s why you’re on Earth."

Ma said, during this time, it was a "good moment to consider what kind of world we actually want to live in, and to serve certain needs."

"How do I give from substance to actually create a better world in this great American experiment?" he asked.

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