EducationArtsCultureNYCTeachers College and One Percent for Culture hosted a mayoral forum — The Future of Education, Arts and Culture in New York City. The event was moderated by Public Radio’s Kurt Anderson and WNYC’s Leonard Lopate.

The candidates for NYC mayor took turns sharing their views on art and music education — especially in public school curricula, and how much more of the city’s budget they would commit to the “Arts” if they are elected mayor?

In her remarks, Christine Quinn said that “cultural funding helps fund the soul of the city,” and that “New York City’s culture is the soul of the nation.”

Joe Lhota, Republican candidate and former City’s Budget Director during the Giuliani administration, apologized for his efforts to de-fund the Brooklyn Museum after it had shown Chris Ofili’s work depicting the Virgin Mary with pornographic images of female genitalia and elephant dung on it. “I thought and I was wrong that you shouldn’t use taxpayers dollars to desecrate religion.”

Society’s elites like to treat art as religion, and don’t seem to care that ‘art’ can subvert the common good — in which case more art is not necessarily better. But perhaps, at some level, that is their objective too.

“One day when I was off on one of my usual expeditions to get bread, paints, and money for them, all the teachers rebelled and drew my pupils into their rebellion. God forgive them!” Marc Chagall