Award-winning author and music educator Eric Booth (Julliard, Stanford, the Kennedy Center) shares his distinction between art and entertainment. For Booth, entertainment confirms what we already know. It affirms our sense of the world. We laugh or cry or are thrilled by entertainment that mirrors back life as we know it and says to us, “Yes, this is the (absurd, crazy, funny, tragic) way life is.” There is something pleasing and comforting and enjoyable and empowering in the confirmation of entertainment.
Art asks us to enter worlds outside our experience. It expands our sense of the possible. Booth goes on to say that our culture bombards us with an avalanche of information and entertainment, making this act of thinking outside the known, the comfortable, the given, an act of courage for the artist and the person experiencing it. And that is the role of art: to support and inspire that courageous leap of the imagination.
Is entertainment the enemy of art? Are they polar opposites? Can you have both?
What do you think?