By Caleb Jacobo, Guest Writer
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With my daughter soon to be entering the public school system, I’ve become more and more concerned with the quality of exposure to the arts that our public schools provide for our children. That includes music classes, drama clubs, and any other ‘extra-curricular’ activity that is suffering from budget cuts.
My public high school was relatively new and had the luxury of some extra-curricular art programs. But, every year that I spent from a freshman to a senior, I saw a decline in the quality of the art performances at the school. When I got involved in drama in my senior year, the play we had planned to do had to be changed at the last minute because the school wouldn’t pay for the rights of the performance. We ended up playing a mediocre version of a horribly written piece. The arts were regarded as a sort of necessary evil that sucked the school budget.
But the bigger problem was not that my school failed to pay for the rights for a play. Our drama teacher did not think to secure rights before we practiced the play which shows a certain level of ineptitude. The truth was, all of the good art teachers were getting better offers anywhere else but the public school system. If this is the way we handle our art programs, the only possible conclusion is educational quality reduction. If my daughter did not have a father so concerned for the arts, the kind of exposure to the arts she would receive would be unacceptably incomplete.
While It’s frustrating that art budgets are near non-existent, that doesn’t stop the parents from exposing their children to the arts themselves. In fact, it should be greatly encouraged that parents at least give their children a chance at a bright future. I say this because, throughout history, the fall from a golden age into the dark ages is marked by the decline in importance of cultural and artistic activities.
There is an incredible urgency to life felt by all humans, especially as we grow older and our time for experiences shrinks. Art allows human beings to share genuine experiences with anyone who comes in contact with the work. Art is communication, and when you experience good art you experience a genuine human experience.
This ability that art has to share individual experience to the masses exposes our collective knowledge to the world. As it always does, it comes down to a choice. Do we let our collective experiences fade away? Do we succumb to our dark ages? Or do we make a choice to preserve art education as the pillar for our advancing culture?
You know my choice, and I hope that you feel the same way. Thank you for taking a look!
This article was published at NationofChange at: http://www.nationofchange.org/why-isn-t-art-making-cut-1347808885. All rights are reserved. Creative Commons 4.0 Attributions