In school we are taught that sports and the military are important and worthy of funding. Music, dance and poetry, not so much. We don’t need them, we’re told. They are separate from real life. Plus, anyone who fancies themselves an artist is probably lazy, delusional and not to be trusted.
That's not what I was taught.
Angelou, in her speech, continually used the phrase “great artist” for a reason. She was indicating that artistic work was a path for people to follow and that “great art” or true art comes about at some point down that path. It was not, necessarily a definition of “art” or “artist” in that sense, therefore.
You won’t usually find the type of critical dialogue you require as an artist here on Medium. Unfortunate, but true. You will have to dig for it if you want it. Otherwise you will get a great deal of backslapping which does no one much good. People will shower you with praise so that you will return praise to them. It is purely transactional.