Promoting the Arts at the Grassroots
"... true worth of artists and craftsmen should be appreciated, for they advance the affairs of mankind." – Bahá’u’lláh
The arts are a vast area of human endeavour, enhancing our attraction to material and spiritual beauty. Whilst the Latin root of the word means ‘skill’ and narrowed its meaning from the word ‘science’ (meaning ‘knowledge’) the arts as we know it includes music, artistic creation and innovations, craftsmanship, storytelling, poetry, music, and drama.
“Arts, crafts and sciences uplift the world of being, and are conducive to its exaltation. Knowledge is as wings to man’s life, and a ladder for his ascent. Its acquisition is incumbent upon everyone.” - Bahá'u’lláh
The Bahá’í community engages with the arts to convey profound spiritual, social and material concepts that can teach, transform, and influence our behaviours and thoughts.
Since the Institute Process and its educational imperatives are fundamentally concerned with the moral empowerment and capacity-building of people’s, one is not required to be an accomplished artist to partake of the arts. Artistic expressions in all its forms are a vital way to open up creative channels through which inspiration can flow, allowing the force of attraction to beauty to permeate our individual and collective endeavours in contributing to the betterment of our society.
The Bahá’í community understands attraction to beauty as a spiritual force that compels us to seek harmony in our daily lives and relationships, allowing us to elevate us to higher realms of existence. The arts allow humanity to channel expressions of our soul. That is, the essential longing for grace, beauty and harmony. Expressions of beauty reflected in the arts reflect deeper stirrings of our spirit in contemplating the universe and the world.
Artistic expressions can represent the richness of our people’s cultures. Bahá’ís embrace the visiion that strengthening the force of attraction to beauty contributes to our spiritual development, uplifting us and stirring our spirit in admiration of our Creator, His bounties and His Creation.
“in accordance with the divine teachings the acquisition of sciences and the perfection of arts are considered acts of worship. If a man engageth with all his power in the acquisition of a science or in the perfection of an art, it is as if he has been worshipping God in churches and temples... What bounty greater than this that science should be considered as an act of worship and art as service to the Kingdom of God.” - ‘Abdu’l-Bahá
Some of the impacts of the arts includes:
Storytelling serves to inspire, animate, stimulate our imagination.
Drama allows us to see oneself in real or imaginary situations, and unconsciously examine one's own habits and patterns.
Crafts involve the transformation of the material to create beauty