"The Earth Without 'Art' is Just 'Eh'"
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Politics and Activism

"The Earth Without 'Art' is Just 'Eh'"

Why The Arts Are Vital And Why We Need To Prioritize Them

"The Earth Without 'Art' is Just 'Eh'"
Nova Silbaugh Art

If you have kept up with the news so far in this crazy year of 2016, you only really see stories about social justice issues, politics and reality stars. While these articles can be intriguing, they have overshadowed a very large problem here in the horse capital of the world.

Public schools, colleges, and universities are facing budget cuts, but that is not new news. Budgets for education in America, especially here in Kentucky, have been growing smaller and smaller as more of our national and state funds are used to pay off debts and overcome a budget deficit. While these things are important, they throw education out of the window. We will not have accountants, politicians, businessmen, or any sort of professionals if we keep education on the back burner. Unfortunately, what is most ignored and abused is the arts.

Earlier this year, it was rumored that Kentucky Republican governor Matt Bevin planned to eliminate funding to the Kentucky Arts Council in an effort to overcome the budget deficit that faces the state. This would no longer make art courses of any sort mandatory in general education and thus, would most likely be removed from schools. Unfortunately, many people did not argue this, and some even agreed. People fail to realize just how important the arts are, both visual and performing.

If the world did not have artists, we would have nothing. We would not have the clothes on our backs that were drawn up and created by a designer. We would not have the laptop I am typing this on or the phone in your pocket. We would not have movies, plays, books, or music. We would not have architecture, either; no chairs, tables, stoves, buildings, nothing. Scared yet? You should be. As one of my personal favorite quotes goes, "Earth without 'art' is just 'eh.'" The arts are far more important than most people know, and they are taken for granted. An art course is as equally important as a math or science course, maybe even more so. Trigonometry and Chemistry are not going to help me in my daily life unless I go into a field that requires them, but I will encounter art every day and every night. Everything you see, hear, and feel is art, and there are people who want to take that away.

Fortunately, art advocates throughout Kentucky have already started a campaign to keep the arts in the schools and keep their funding. The group, under the name of Kentuckians for the Arts, started just over a year ago before the budget cuts were ever rumored, and thankfully, their voices have started to become heard. When Governor Bevin proposed his budget plans, he did not even mention the Kentucky Arts Council. On the downside, he did bring in the council's parent company, The Tourism, Arts, and Heritage Cabinet, which is led by Secretary Don Parkinson. Bevin's proposed budget would reduce funds to the cabinet, which will have an effect on any arts program under that name, with the Kentucky Arts Council included.

Kentuckians for the Arts did not take kindly to this, and they began Facebook and Twitter accounts called Grow Kentucky Arts to encourage support from citizens by publicizing how the arts benefit both the state and individuals. The social media pages have attracted the attention of thousands, and that number continues to grow. They have also been working with the advocacy group Americans for the Arts in order to make Kentuckians for the Arts an established organization.

While progress is being made, there is still a long way to go, and there is still very little media coverage on the topic. It is certainly a pressing issue, and we, as parents and members of our state's and country's future, need to put a stop to the ignorance of the arts and make our voices heard.

You can visit www.growkyarts.org for further information and read testimonials from individuals about how the arts have impacted their lives.

(All information comes from the Kentucky Arts Council, Kentuckians for the Arts, Grow Kentucky Arts, and the Courier Journal)

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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