On the other hand, people are attracted by art, for their own pleasure, satisfaction or inspiration. Art and culture contrasts with the ugliness and banality of our daily world. It improves the physical, psychological and social space that we live in. Research results tell us that art and culture may strengthen social qualities as tolerance, empathy and respect for other cultures and living traditions. It may strengthen imagination, help people find new perspectives. So, from a wider perspective, art may have considerable utility, contributing to social cohesion and well-being. And yes, for the politicians, in specific circumstances it may also promote tourism and connected economic activities.
In 2010, an investigation among the Dutch public suggested that there is wide public support for art and culture if these concepts are defined in a wider sense, so including street theatre, popular music, graffiti and so forth. People are aware that art and culture form part of their social and historic identity, that arts express what they are and contribute to social and individual wellbeing. However, at the same time, people tend to reject the various ways art is monopolised by the elite.
Bertolt Brecht said it more precisely: ‘All arts contribute to the greatest art of all: the art of living – the art to live a life’