“D. Paul Schafer is the sage we need today. He brings wisdom and guidance about how and why we must live a life filled with arts and culture. He clearly articulates the benefits of an arts-infused foundation for individuals, but also shares the profound positive implications to society when they are collectively valued and used. In one of the world's most uncertain and catastrophic moments, Schafer has fiercely penned a beautiful and deeply powerful path forward. Embracing humanity’s most potent tools of aesthetics, culture and the arts, he weaves together the threads of social connection, identity, health, learning and well-being. The Arts: Gateway to a Fulfilling Life and Cultural Age is a love letter to the arts and cultures of the world, and importantly an instruction manual for all of her inhabitants. It will make you laugh and cry, reconnecting you to something perhaps missing in your life that you couldn’t name---until now.”—Susan Magsamen, Executive Director, International Arts + Mind Lab, Johns Hopkins University

“The arts and culture are connectors, in good and troubled times, as seen with COVID-19 and Black Lives Matter, and are as essential to the changing global dynamic as they are nationally. D. Paul Schafer eloquently makes the case for the arts and culture in this accessible, articulate book. We ignore his insights at our peril.”—The Honourable Patricia Bovey, FRSA, FCMA, Senator for Manitoba, Senate of Canada

“Paul Schafer’s books are much discussed among those of us who strive to use arts activities to drive sustainable positive change—within our lives, workplaces and communities. Paul’s new book is sure to be of great interest for artists, arts organizations and policymakers ... at this crucial time and in the years to come.”—Grant Hall, founder, League of Cultural Diplomacy

"A compelling and inspirational read! Paul Schafer’s latest book is probably his greatest yet as it reminds us how the arts touch and dance with our lives in so many ways. Providing examples from furnishings, food and pop music to classical arts, Schafer makes the point that no-one lives without art. According to Schafer, learning to interpret, appreciate and practice art is one of the greatest gifts in life.  

"In this book, he points to the dangers of only learning about one culture and the need to make other cultures visible and recognizable. A message we strongly share at IGCAT (International Institute of Gastronomy, Culture, Arts and Tourism) where we advocate for better recognition of diverse cultures. The message is that creativity not conformity will move us out of the present crisis brought about by the economic age (an age that he convincingly demonstrates has provoked both degradation and segregation in our current world). 

"I strongly recommend that you not only read this book but that you share his urgent message. As a bonus Schafer shares with you an almost encyclopedic list of inspiring music, poetry and paintings from all genres that highlights the richness and fascinating world of arts and music. It was a joy to be reminded and rediscover great masterpieces while reading his motivating words. 

"His key message is that bringing value to life is as simple as introducing citizens to the tools to enjoy, revel, explore imaginatively, create in harmony and sensitivity within nature and with one another.  In order to bring about a more balanced world we need to mend our fragmented (environmental, societal, political, economic) world. Doing so will require ingenuity, creativity, humanity, compassion and the capacity of facilitation. Therefore it brings hope to see an increase in educational courses (all around the globe) dedicated to the training of cultural managers and policy makers who hope to help citizens 'unlock the sublime and maybe even the divine' through artistic and cultural diversity. 

"In the final chapter, Schafer strongly advocates for the cultural age as a holistic approach that can provide the context for  'joy, happiness and fulfillment in life' as well as the backdrop to 'enjoy good health, well-being, spirituality, contentment and the experience of the sublime. Wise words indeed!" ---Diane Dodd, Ph.D., President, IGCAT



"This book is a masterpiece. From self to city, society to world, it demonstrates that the arts and culture hold the keys for humanity to creatively advance in these times of civilisational transition. In a personal, practical, deeply inspiring, and well-researched manner, Schafer opens our eyes to seeing culture and the arts as the single most important resources in the development of our collective path ahead. His book is an inspiration for anyone engaged in the necessary renewal of the self, society, cultures, and the world." ---Alexander Schieffer, co-founder, TRANS4M Center for Integral Transformation, the Home for Humanity in France, and co-editor of the Routledge Transformation and Innovation Book Series

"Paul Schafer is an exceptional scholar and his latest book is a splendid gift to all who practice, create, savor, and value the arts in our lives. His message is both personal and world-changing, placing the arts at the core of a fulfilling life and the heart-center of human society struggling on the cusp of transformation. He sees power, insight and intelligence in the arts as ripe for addressing humanity's greatest challenges and seeding and enriching our personal lives. He urges us to become more conscious of culture and the many cultures in which we are immersed and in which we participate. As our consciousness grows, inspired by the arts, a new age beckons, what Schafer calls a cultural age, in which our highest goals and the ideals of humanity may one day be realized." ---John J. Cimino, president and founder of Creative Leaps International and the Renaissance Center for Knowledge Integration, Interdisciplinary Thinking and Advanced Applications of Imagination

"This brilliant book by a leading author, researcher, and theorist about why the arts are essential---and more so in the post-COVID-19 world---lays the groundwork for a cultural renaissance to replace the current system of thinking, feeling, and creating that has failed the vast majority of humanity and nature itself. Paul revisits his childhood experiences to bring to life the masterpieces in art, music, and literature that define our identity and humanity. He makes us realize that 'when looked at in totality, there is little in the world or in life that is not concerned with the arts in one form or another.' This must-read book can provide you with hope when you need it most." ---Ashfaq Ishaq, Ph.D., founder and chair, International Child Art Foundation

"Paul Schafer's new book addresses the profound changes and challenges brought about by the global pandemic. COVID-19 has demonstrated more clearly than ever before the value of the arts in helping people to cope with mental and physical stress, isolation and troubling uncertainty. While offering a realistic evaluation, his assuredly optimistic assessment points us towards the opportunity that he sees for the arts and artists to have a much more profound, positive and lasting impact on humanity. Read and be inspired, uplifted, and transformed." ---John Hobday, vice-chair, Canadian Network for Arts & Learning and former director, Canada Council for the Arts

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The Arts is dedicated by the author to artists and arts organizations for bringing so much beauty, happiness, creativity, and spirituality into the world.


Gateway to a Fulfilling Life and Cultural Age

D. Paul Schafer

In this exciting book, noted cultural scholar and arts advocate D. Paul Schafer examines the powerful role the arts can play, both in helping individuals live more fulfilling lives and in allowing humanity as a whole to enter a new and dynamic period in its history—what Schafer calls a “cultural age.” Indeed, it is only by moving through that gateway that humanity will be able to overcome the enormous challenges confronting it today.

Schafer surveys new research showing how participation in the arts can help people cope with various illnesses and diseases, come to grips with old age and the final years of life, deal with the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic and racial conflicts, and overcome anxiety, apprehension, and depression brought on by lack of human contact, job losses, and uncertainties about the future.

In the author’s view, a new era is opening up---an era in which the arts will soar to new heights, broadening and deepening our collective knowledge and understanding of culture and all the diverse cultures and civilizations in the world, allowing us to realize higher goals, objectives, and ideals for humanity, and yielding more caring, sharing, compassion, and cooperation in the world. Schafer sheds light on this crucial transformation by weaving together a number of articles he has written on the arts over the past several years, updating them in terms of present developments and future needs. The book begins with an examination of the arts as the foundation for life, and ends by considering why the transition to a cultural age is so essential, what it is designed to accomplish, and how it can be achieved.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: D. Paul Schafer has worked in the cultural field for more than five decades as an educator, advisor, administrator, and researcher. Paul is the author of many books and articles on culture and the arts in general and Canadian culture and the arts in Canada in particular, including The True North (2019), The Cultural Personality (2018), Celebrating Canadian Creativity (2017), The Secrets of Culture (2015) and The Age of Culture (2014), all published by Rock’s Mills Press. Earlier works include Revolution or Renaissance: Making the Transition from an Economic Age to a Cultural Age (University of Ottawa Press) and Culture: Beacon of the Future (Greenwood Publishing).

Paperback, 2020, 6 X 9, 222 pp., ISBN-13: 978-1-77244-199-4

$25 (Canada) / $20 (US)