Community and the creative spirit

I've just been in Lisbon where new art covers lots of the old walls. It got me thinking about how communities support (or don't support) art. This photo is from a courtyard that the residents painted white and then invited five local artists to decorate. The result is charming. Enlivening. And that's what art, music, literature does - it brings imagination, even whimsy, into real life. Communities that support art simply become more and more interesting over time. Those that don't support the arts end up with whatever's cheap, easy and profitable for whoever's funding the space. That goes for music and books as well. I guess it's all a matter of taste. Me, I'm with the woman in the window on the right, smiling away at all the bright colors and fascinating shapes.