"Prophetic artists ask, 'What stories need telling now?' They see that to survive the crisis in democracy, to achieve humane and sustainable community, we need the capacity to put ourselves in the other's place and make choices driven by more than crude self-interest; and the social imagination to envisage new solutions to stubborn social problems. We need stories that draw the connections between public choices and actual human lives, stories that cultivate awareness and compassion.
Empathy and social imagination cannot be learned through intellect alone. Through film, theater, dance, music, literature, and visual art, through sharing our stories of resourcefulness and resilience, through sharing our own creativity, human beings have always learned to know and care for each other, to strengthen our communities and to face down challenges.
[...] No one can guarantee that we will get what we want. All we can do is discover what ignites our passion, offer up our best efforts in its service, and surrender to the processes that have produced so many astounding surprises in the course of human history. As every artist knows, the pleasure is in the doing, at least as much as the result."