An Artist's Perspective: Arts Education Must Be Protected

May 25, 2016


According to Johns Hopkins researchers, in a study entitled "Neuroeducation: Learning, Art & the Brain"  students with arts education excel at a greater rate in all studies and stand a far better chance of graduating and going on to college.

 

It was an arts educator who saved me. I was angry, using drugs daily, and on the verge of dropping out of high school. She saw my talent and simply would not let me go.

As a teenager, arts educators taught me about a world beyond my block, where open thought, creativity, and work ethic would give me a good life. By guiding me and opening up the natural creativity that every kid has, they helped me prosper and find self-worth.

I cannot begin to tell you how their teachings have given meaning to my life - and at the risk of sounding melodramatic - saved my life. Arts education must be protected at all costs.

In 2015, the Kansas government cut school budgets by $44.5 million dollars, and cut teacher tenure so badly that schools could not find teachers to fill classrooms.

Skyline, Twin Valley, and Haven Schools, among others closed early due to these severe budget cuts.

A district court-panel declared that the new state laws for funding violated our state's constitution, and it ordered an immediate increase in funding.

When government chowderheads chop school budgets, it seems like it's always the arts that get chopped first.

Numerous studies such as the Rand Corporation's "A Portrait of the Visual Arts" reflect that a curriculum without arts education actually thwarts a well-rounded education. Arts education breeds free-thinkers. It encourages thought, creativity, open-mindedness, abstract thinking, problem solving, and general well-being. In other words, well-rounded, intelligent individuals.

In 2016 and beyond, we want our children to be caring, original, thinking individuals...rather than short-sighted sheep.

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