Updated: Feb 3, 2022
Why the Arts Are Important: An Educational Piece
Many of us would agree that we find the arts important. Whether it’s written, musical, or visual, the arts are a part of our culture, but more importantly, they’re a part of our everyday lives. “Before a child talks, they sing. Before they write, they draw. As soon as they stand, they dance. Art is fundamental to human expression.”
- Phylicia Rashad
When considering the many corners of life that we experience art in, it’s hard to imagine life without it. And while we know how important it is to us as human beings, it tends to be one of the most under-funded aspects of our culture, especially within education.
During the previous administration, there were debates to completely eliminate the National Endowment for the Arts, despite costing 0.003 percent of the deferral budget. In 2021, U.S. legislative appropriations for art education dropped 17.9 percent, representing a 38.7 percent drop in 2001.
Why Are the Arts Consistently Unconsidered?
These budget cuts are due to economic hardships and the overall attitude that arts education is disposable. But contrary to that belief, it’s important to understand that the arts are crucial to a student's personal development. Oftentimes, the need to test for science and math become prioritized over the arts and children of rural and low-income regions are vastly affected by this. As it is unfortunate for all youth-art programs to continue to be cut, it can heavily affect those students who are considered at risk, as research conducted by the NASAA have shown to help increase their engagement with academic opportunities and civic activities. By engaging with the arts, these students get the opportunity and freedom to pursue their own growth by practicing self awareness, empathy and creativity.
Art as a Therapy
One of the most beautiful benefits that art offers humans is the opportunity for self expression. When engaging in arts education, students practice self awareness and expression, as well as empathy. Having these types of outlets is crucial to the human experience. The opportunity to translate lived experiences into artistic expression is invaluable. Through this experience, students heighten their emotion and behavioral stability.
Creativity at It’s Finest
Another example of the human spirit being expressed through art is innovation. While the continuous budget cuts to the arts are heartbreaking, it invigorates a sense of creativity by having limited tools and resources. Research has shown that scarce resources forces young artists to find new ways to create art, while also encouraging problem-solving.
With the components that are ever present within the arts, continuing art education becomes increasingly important. The hyper-focus on STEM education will create a future for our children that prepares them for the career world, but what will prepare them for their future selves? The arts encourage bolder thinking, help develop personalities, and create more talents within a person, allowing them to become a more well-rounded human being.
Most would agree that the arts are extremely important to our society and more, now than ever, it’s important to make sure that our youth has the ability to experience the arts and artistic expression. It is up to us as a society to ensure that there is a future in the arts for our youth.
Please help join us in our mission to provide that future for our children and make a donation today. We also encourage you to learn more about our workshops and scholarship program!