United States

"ˢᵗᵃʸ ᵈʳᵘⁿᵏ ᵒⁿ ʷʳⁱᵗⁱⁿᵍ ˢᵒ ʳᵉᵃˡⁱᵗʸ ᶜᵃⁿⁿᵒᵗ ᵈᵉˢᵗʳᵒʸ ʸᵒᵘ." ⁻ ᴿᵃʸ ᴮʳᵃᵈᵇᵘʳʸ
Hello all! Or rather y'all as we say down here in GA. I'm a 15 going on 16 aspiring writer who wants more experience. I can't wait to start writing regularly on here.

Message to Readers

Creative Feedback welcome!

We Know the Arts Matter, So Let's Show the Arts Matter!

March 11, 2019

    Imagine going to one of the best schools in your state. It’s an art school full of people like you. It is a place full of the most wondrous opportunities; the ability to learn, grow, and perform with your peers. Here you all share an experience that you will take with you throughout the rest of your lives. No matter what discipline you take on in your later years, your art will follow you. A writer becomes a lawyer; an artist an engineer. An arts school is a truly special and sacred space for the growing passions of a teenager to thrive.

    After such a wondrous description you may be fantasizing vividly about a school such as this. You most likely picture you and your friends walking through shining halls, stopping at clean lockers and pristine classrooms. I know I did. My school definitely fulfills my wish to be able to chase my artistic prowess. However, the state of my school is much further from my daydreams than I had originally planned.

    Art is the basis for which our society is built on. Rome wasn’t built in a day, and it would have - quite literally - never been built without the skills of the artists, architects, and creative thinkers of the time. The sad truth is those artists were looked down upon then, just as they are looked down upon now. This discouragement begins in schools - art schools like mine specifically - which are horribly underfunded in comparison to other lower performing schools within the district.

    How could this be? Arts have been shown to benefit the academic participation and achievement of students. Students  involved in the arts have been proven to do better on standardized tests. The study that states this was done by UCLA, one of many colleges that require experience in fine arts for application*. This is most likely because they seek students proficient in arts areas, as those kids show an aptitude for core academics as well as great social skills. Going to an arts school has made me realize how much of these skills I use everyday in relation to doing team work and handling responsibility.

    One would suspect with results this good, money would be flowing into arts education programs. Sadly, this is not the case. Schools that do not put focus on arts get money to build new campuses and hire more teachers. A lack of funding to schools like mine has resulting in teachers being let off. Along with the money we have lost in the past, we have lost teachers for our guitar, piano, and songwriting classes, all to the detriment of students like me who would have loved to learn these talent areas. Teens at school watch helplessly as students at other schools get new auditoriums and labs. Meanwhile, we have to drive out to the state and national capitals once a year, advocating for an increase in arts education funding.**

    It is unfair that the future artistic minds of this generation do not get adequate funding for even a proper campus. Our old theatre, The Kyle, does not seat a big enough audience for our performances and the stage is much smaller than those at other schools. Recently, after an inability to get our usual venue, we had to hold our holiday concert in our school’s gym. Any musician knows that a gym is no good place for acoustics, but the near a thousand people that showed up to hear our talented performers could not fit in our small theatre at all. Every year they tell us that we are soon moving into a nicer facility, though this never happens. This is very discouraging to a young performer such as myself and I know that my peers in orchestra and band were unhappy with the concert.

    Sure new labs and classrooms are important, but it is integral that we aid the arts as well. The experiences and skills we create at an arts school are important and should be treated like such. People have acknowledged that the arts are important to society; that they should be cultivated. If this is the case, then why can’t they show that the arts matter by providing our schools with the support that we need in order to provide talented teens with the optimal artistic experience? It’s time that young artists are given the tools they need to help change the world.
* From the UCLA admissions webpage, "1 year required - A single year-long approved arts course from a single VPA discipline: dance, drama/theater, music, or visual art."

**I have recently participated in Arts Advocacy day at the Georgia State Capitol on behalf of my school. The day inclused talking to representatives of senators and members of arts related organizations in order to raise discussion for arts funding.

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  • AtLeilaWriter

    Thank you JCWriter!

    over 1 year ago
  • JCWriter

    I agree wholeheartedly, and I like the way you've supported your opinion. Good job!

    over 1 year ago