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Former Chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts, Dana Gioia is an internationally acclaimed and award-winning poet. A native Californian of Italian and Mexican descent, Gioia (pronounced JOY-uh) received[…]

Young artists need to learn from the art that came before them.

Topic: Challenges for Young Artists

Dana Gioia: Well I think in some ways, young artists today are finding their inspiration as much in pop culture – in those little areas in pop culture where people are still doing serious work. And the reason is because that’s the only culture that’s accessible to them. They have some people like . . . Especially with musicians where there’s still a . . . a viable, kind of classical tradition. They can be part of an orchestra. They can learn the repertoire, things like this. But young artists, I think, learn from the art that came before them and the circumstances of their own lives. And so I think it’s always been the case. But I think today, a lot of artists are more in the present moment than they are with any kind of vivifying relationship with the past. And you can do good things out of that, but I think it’s actually a richer way to be able to pull the present and the past together.

Recorded On: 7/6/07

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