“Imaginary” needs?

From the essay:

The idea of “imaginary needs” confused many participants. One wrote in a commissioned letter, “I’m a little baffled by the title for this gathering, as the needs of creative artists don’t seem the least bit imaginary to me.” Though no explanation was given, Ella King Torrey, program officer at The Pew Charitable Trusts, offered her interpretation: “Artists were increasingly left out of the conceptual as well as the economic picture… Was that because we didn’t need to notice? Were the needs of artists imaginary? What really were the needs of the imagination?”

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