In Defense Of The Arts
Start writing a post
Entertainment

In Defense Of The Arts

Why does everyone overlook the Arts?

49
In Defense Of The Arts
Fraser Institute

Do you remember those “Save the Music” commercials that used to run in the early 2000s? Each one would be a who’s who of famous musicians speaking up to help save music classes from being phased out in schools. I was thinking about those the other day as I stared at the Hamilton: An American Musical 2 disc CD set at Barnes and Noble. As I stood there contemplating what would eventually turn into one of my greatest purchases in my 21 years of living, (seriously, if you still haven’t jumped on this bandwagon, get your life together people – it’s f^*&ing amazing). I couldn’t help but think about the way “the Arts” are dealt with in education and society as a whole.

In today’s educational systems, the Arts are not given their due respect from policy makers and education boards. That’s just a fact. When budgets are low or money needs to be squeezed, it’s never taken from athletics or science departments. It’s taken from the Arts. Administrations reject the theatre department’s request for a new curtain to replace the torn and stained one that hangs from the rafters. They push back the Art department’s 4th request for new paint brushes that haven’t been replaced since the Reagan administration. Justification is made somewhere down the line then the requests are returned to the back-burner they eternally rest on.

Schools choose not to expose kids to the beauty and creativity you can find in the Arts. They force feed them scientific equations and busy work that piles up until it all runs together. Children aren’t given the chance to see if they have an interest in the Arts because most schools don’t have them listed as required courses of study. Now, why is that? Probably because of the societal stereotypes that the Arts fall into.


via the National Center for Educational Statistics


As a prime example, about a week or so back I sat in a room with a group of 12 to 14 year old kids and asked them if they would be interested in taking a trip to a local theatre to see a play performed as a special treat for being good assistant counselors at summer camp (Backstory: My summer job is to be a de-facto counselor trainer for young teens at a local summer camp. It’s not one of the million internships I applied for in the media field, but pays good money and people are plus). Before I could even get the name of the play out of my mouth I was met with unrest and complaints about my attempt to bore them to death. Only one young lady thought it would be a good idea. She had been in a few school plays and was interested in the subject. I was disappointed to say the least but I understood.

I’m sure these teens haven’t wanted to experience the theatre or pick up a paint brush or belt their hearts out with a favorite instrument for fear of being labeled “un-cool” or sometimes even worse. I was the same way. I gravitated to athletics because that was the norm. That was the “cool” thing to do. Parents also play a huge role in determining their child’s willingness to jump into something new. Parents are always quick to enroll their children in sports programs for the lessons they teach and the opportunities they provide. However, the sad part is many of the same lessons and opportunities kids pick up in sports they can also get from the Arts. Yet, the local children’s theatre struggles to make double-digits when it comes to child enrollment.

One of the key lessons sports teaches is working well with others and gaining a group-before-self mentality. I’ve covered the fact that my football teammates became more like my family. I thought that sports was the only way to develop a camaraderie like that. However, in my last few years studying the arts I’ve realized they bond just as strong as athletic teams do. Sculptors and painters that work together understand each other to the point that they know what the next step is in creating their masterpiece before they speak a word. Actors and Actresses spend every waking hour from sun-up to sun-up (yes, sun-up) practicing lines, blocking scenes, and learning dance routines. As for musicians, just look at any interview Justin Timberlake gives on his latest album. You’ll be hard pressed not to find him not giving a glowing remark about his “brother” Timbaland.


Timberlake (left) and Timbaland (right) backstage before the 2013 Grammy Awards


I’m not saying that giving athletics and core subjects funding is wrong and that all the money should go to the Arts. I’m simply saying the Arts deserves its moment in the sun as much as it’s glorified counterparts.

I never appreciated the majesty and brilliance of true Art until I made it to college. I never looked at photo or painting and saw the patience and elegance it took to create that work. I never listened to the story a songwriter told with the musical accompaniment. I never looked at the actors and actresses on the stage and wondered about their painstakingly detailed and precise process they took to create the character before our eyes. I wish I had. There is true beauty there.

It may be too late for me to take the stage or write a melody that could tell an incredible story, but that doesn’t mean it’s too late for kids today. Sure, there will always be the ones born to be in the Arts like Vincent Van Gogh, Ella Fitzgerald, or Lin-Manuel Miranda but maybe it doesn’t end with folks like them. Maybe there is a diamond in the rough somewhere that just needs to be shown a blank canvas, a sheet of line music, or an empty stage to realize his or her passion.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
Robert Bye on Unsplash

I live by New York City and I am so excited for all of the summer adventures.

Keep Reading... Show less
Featured

The invention of photography

The history of photography is the recount of inventions, scientific discoveries and technical improvements that allowed human beings to capture an image on a photosensitive surface for the first time, using light and certain chemical elements that react with it.

135159

The history of photography is the recount of inventions, scientific discoveries and technical improvements that allowed human beings to capture an image on a photosensitive surface for the first time, using light and certain chemical elements that react with it.

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

Exposing Kids To Nature Is The Best Way To Get Their Creative Juices Flowing

Constantly introducing young children to the magical works of nature will further increase the willingness to engage in playful activities as well as broaden their interactions with their peers

1606153

Whenever you are feeling low and anxious, just simply GO OUTSIDE and embrace nature! According to a new research study published in Frontiers in Psychology, being connected to nature and physically touching animals and flowers enable children to be happier and altruistic in nature. Not only does nature exert a bountiful force on adults, but it also serves as a therapeutic antidote to children, especially during their developmental years.

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

5 Simple Ways To Give Yourself Grace, Especially When Life Gets Hard

Grace begins with a simple awareness of who we are and who we are becoming.

1003974
Photo by Brooke Cagle on Unsplash

If there's one thing I'm absolutely terrible at, it's giving myself grace. I'm easily my own worst critic in almost everything that I do. I'm a raging perfectionist, and I have unrealistic expectations for myself at times. I can remember simple errors I made years ago, and I still hold on to them. The biggest thing I'm trying to work on is giving myself grace. I've realized that when I don't give myself grace, I miss out on being human. Even more so, I've realized that in order to give grace to others, I need to learn how to give grace to myself, too. So often, we let perfection dominate our lives without even realizing it. I've decided to change that in my own life, and I hope you'll consider doing that, too. Grace begins with a simple awareness of who we are and who we're becoming. As you read through these five affirmations and ways to give yourself grace, I hope you'll take them in. Read them. Write them down. Think about them. Most of all, I hope you'll use them to encourage yourself and realize that you are never alone and you always have the power to change your story.

Keep Reading... Show less
Entertainment

Breaking Down The Beginning, Middle, And End of Netflix's Newest 'To All The Boys' Movie

Noah Centineo and Lana Condor are back with the third and final installment of the "To All The Boys I've Loved Before" series

917793
Netflix

Were all teenagers and twenty-somethings bingeing the latest "To All The Boys: Always and Forever" last night with all of their friends on their basement TV? Nope? Just me? Oh, how I doubt that.

I have been excited for this movie ever since I saw the NYC skyline in the trailer that was released earlier this year. I'm a sucker for any movie or TV show that takes place in the Big Apple.

Keep Reading... Show less
Lifestyle

4 Ways To Own Your Story, Because Every Bit Of It Is Worth Celebrating

I hope that you don't let your current chapter stop you from pursuing the rest of your story.

598479
Photo by Manny Moreno on Unsplash

Every single one of us has a story.

I don't say that to be cliché. I don't say that to give you a false sense of encouragement. I say that to be honest. I say that to be real.

Keep Reading... Show less
Politics and Activism

How Young Feminists Can Understand And Subvert The Internalized Male Gaze

Women's self-commodification, applied through oppression and permission, is an elusive yet sexist characteristic of a laissez-faire society, where women solely exist to be consumed. (P.S. justice for Megan Fox)

383341
Paramount Pictures

Within various theories of social science and visual media, academics present the male gaze as a nebulous idea during their headache-inducing meta-discussions. However, the internalized male gaze is a reality, which is present to most people who identify as women. As we mature, we experience realizations of the perpetual male gaze.

Keep Reading... Show less
Lifestyle

It's Important To Remind Yourself To Be Open-Minded And Embrace All Life Has To Offer

Why should you be open-minded when it is so easy to be close-minded?

498490

Open-mindedness. It is something we all need a reminder of some days. Whether it's in regards to politics, religion, everyday life, or rarities in life, it is crucial to be open-minded. I want to encourage everyone to look at something with an unbiased and unfazed point of view. I oftentimes struggle with this myself.

Keep Reading... Show less
Facebook Comments