I recommend reading the article that I have provided the link to below. Its about an opera composer in Russia being physically attacked over the subject matter in one of his operas.
I bring this up because one of the debates going on in this country is the relevance of the arts in today's world.
But often in tough, political climates, the arts are seen as subversive (a sure sign of relevance!!)
Also, when things are going really bad, the arts become something people really relate to.....
As an example, during the German Blitz of London during World War II, the concert halls were full even though people were risking their lives by attending! Again, relevance is not something that would even be debated with a situation like this.
Here is the article link: