"The artist, however faithful to his personal vision of reality, becomes the last champion of the individual mind and sensibility against an intrusive society and an officious state. The great artist is thus a solitary figure. [...] In pursuing his perceptions of reality, he must often sail against the currents of his time. This is not a popular role. [...] I see little of more importance to the future of our country and our civilization than full recognition of the place of the artist. If art is to nourish the roots of our culture, society must set the artist free to follow his vision wherever it takes him. We must never forget that art is not a form of propaganda; it is a form of truth. [...] In free society art is not a weapon and it does not belong to the spheres of polemic and ideology. Artists are not engineers of the soul. [...] And the nation which disdains the mission of art invites the fate of Robert Frost's hired man, the fate of having 'nothing to look backward to with pride, and nothing to look forward to with hope.'" -
President John F. Kennedy, in remarks given at Amherst College, October 26, 1963
Stolen from Conscientious blog.