The Arts ARE Underfunded - But It's More Complicated Than You Think.
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The Arts ARE Underfunded - But It's More Complicated Than You Think.

I'm SO tired of music students complaining that "no one cares about us".

The Arts ARE Underfunded - But It's More Complicated Than You Think.

It's no secret that at large universities with music programs, the music building is often among the worst on campus. At Temple, our music building hasn't been renovated in at least a few decades. Stall doors in the bathrooms are broken, pianos are untuned and/or broken, and the building just hasn't grown with the music student population. The number of classes our school offers just barely fit in the building.

In this situation, music students often turn their anger toward the heads of the university.

"The arts are underfunded".

"The school doesn't care about us".

While in many cases those are factors in scarce funding. It's usually more complicated than that.

Large universities are often split into "schools" by degree area. There's a business school, an education school, a science and technology school, a music school, etc. When this happens each school, of course, gets money from the university, but they are largely funded by alumni donations. In particular, scholarships and research projects are largely funded by alumni.

Our music school graduates primarily become performers, teachers, or creative arts therapists - all professions that typically don't provide a large income. This is why, say, business schools look brand new and science buildings have state of the art equipment, music and education buildings are sometimes literally falling apart.

Even if they wanted to, heads of universities can't just throw money wherever they want- it's much more complicated than that. Money in large institutions such as universities is carefully monitored and distributed. In order for the arts to receive more funding, the entire system needs to be uprooted - either we make more money or receive more funding in some other way.

To all my fellow music students out there struggling with lack of practice rooms, sharing classrooms with furry friends, and tiny bathrooms, it's valid to be frustrated. I am too. But remember that money is complicated and there are so many people out there who love, support and respect what you do.

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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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