A text from DC earlier today:

“Failure of Fine Arts Education in Philly: Barista to middle aged woman, ‘You like opera? have you heard of this new opera call Carmen?’ Woman glares in disdain and returns to her conversation.”

I’m torn between wanting to make fun of the barista and wanting to applaud her for trying to engage with a customer. At least she is putting in effort!

That text was followed by some back-and-forth. Where’s the line these days? Is it socially acceptable to not know anything about opera? Is there a Fine Arts Canon that outlines what every person should know about to be considered cultured and well-educated? Do you only need to have read the books they force you to read in high school to get by in life? Can you grow up in a world without being exposed to music, art or literature?

I constantly hear complaining about how the Arts are dying. How can we expect children to appreciate fine art if we don’t teach them anything? 

What do you think? Is important for children to learn these things?