How important are the arts?

Here is an article I wrote - an open letter to people who look down on the arts and/or those who start to wonder if they're right - and I want to take a moment to talk about why this matters to me. Too often, we hear people saying things like "Oh you're taking the easy path" or "Wow... so what do you actually intend to DO with your life?" We hear constant jokes about the "starving artist" stereotype.

Apart from getting upset, I think it makes us doubt ourselves, too. Or at least, it makes me do so, anyway. I start to wonder if I really am taking a self-destructive path, if I'll have no income, no credit, no stability, no way to maintain whatever else I want to do, etc. I hear about how only the best succeed and, knowing that I'm nowhere near the best, I spend many nights wondering if my practicing takes me nowhere and if I'm the only one who thinks my passions are worth following. But it's nights like those where I remind myself why things like music therapy exist now and why I love so many things in life but still love music and fine arts connection so much more than I do anything else. I think it's easy to know why we love what we love, but to never doubt is hard - and if even one person sees this and remembers why they love art, once loved art, or will love art, then I'll be content.