Tempe Center For The Arts Still Needs Public Assistance Despite The Passing Of Proposition 417

Tempe Center For The Arts Still Needs Public Assistance Despite The Passing Of Proposition 417

The lack of exposure to the arts and culture in Tempe has led to the loss of public funding.

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Job growth in Tempe is improving 1.99 percent per year, but hardworking artists can't seem to catch a break.

The lack of exposure to the arts and culture scene in Tempe has led to the loss of funding for the Tempe Center for the Arts. Even with the voter approval of the art tax, the Tempe Center for the Arts will still need long-term assistance.

Local singer-songwriter, Jill Naffziger said she thinks the arts are well represented within Arizona State University, but not as much outside of the school.

"Singers are well represented as there are so many choirs and clubs to join, whether it be at ASU or around town, but I can see where it would be hard for a student or resident pursuing drawing or painting as there is no coverage of this in Tempe," Naffziger said.

Flagstaff is exposing its community to the arts by annually honoring an artist with a Viola Award. The Viola Awards honor local artists, performers, and educators. The Tempe Arts Commissioner Board is pushing to mirror the Viola Awards and bring attention to the local art and culture scene in Tempe.

Lauren Hernandez

Brenda Abney, the museum director and manager of visual arts and culture said that the push for arts is crucial in Tempe, especially for the youth.

"By exploring arts and culture, young people open themselves up to a different world beyond academics or sports. They can put their mind to use in a different way and it can create a sense of belonging for them in a community. Art allows college students a creative outlet especially when you are putting so much time and energy in finding out where you belong in life. It's a place where you are free to be creative and relax," Abney said.

Lauren Hernandez

The Tempe Arts Commissioner Board said that students tend to do better on standardized testing and in social situations when they are given the opportunity to be involved in arts. The board hopes their award will enlighten Tempe schools and encourage aspiring artists at ASU's Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts.

The Institute located at the heart of Tempe offers majors, minors, electives, and certificates in film, music, art, art museum, film, dance, and theatre, design, arts media, and engineering. The Herberger Institute is home to more than 4,700 students.

"Students at ASU are given multiple opportunities to succeed unless they are a part of the arts. Those emails they send with job opportunities never include the arts. I am a senior drawing major at the Herberger school and have only been able to have one of my pieces featured in a local museum. This is always expected with the arts, but I think it's even harder to succeed in Tempe," Jordan Litzinger, a senior ASU drawing student said.

Lauren Hernandez

The lack of exposure to the arts in Tempe is frightening to students pursuing careers in many different forms of art. It is also hard for local artists to make an income as the city of Tempe has not been doing a good job of promoting their careers.

Anthony Johnson, a member of the Tempe arts commissioner board said he is pushing for the exposure of art in Tempe because it is his town and Tempe residents should have the same way of thinking.

"This is your town. I like to paint walls, right? Nowhere in my community does anyone support it. My daughter shares the same interest. Let's face it, we are a generation that does not encourage arts for our children. How do our children get that interaction of painting big and large if it's frowned upon in your community?" Johnson said.

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The Coach That Killed My Passion

An open letter to the coach that made me hate a sport I once loved.
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I fell in love with the game in second grade. I lived for every practice and every game. I lived for the countless hours in the gym or my driveway perfecting every shot, every pass and every move I could think of. Every night after dinner, I would go shoot and would not allow myself to go inside until I hit a hundred shots. I had a desire to play, to get better and to be the best basketball player I could possibly be.

I had many coaches between church leagues, rec leagues, personal coaches, basketball camps, middle school and high school. Most of the coaches I had the opportunity to play for had a passion for the game like I did. They inspired me to never stop working. They would tell me I had a natural ability. I took pride in knowing that I worked hard and I took pride in the compliments that I got from my coaches and other parents. I always looked forward to the drills and, believe it or not, I even looked forward to the running. These coaches had a desire to teach, and I had a desire to learn through every good and bad thing that happened during many seasons. Thank you to the coaches that coached and supported me through the years.

SEE ALSO: My Regrets From My Time As A College Softball Player

Along with the good coaches, are a few bad coaches. These are the coaches that focused on favorites instead of the good of the entire team. I had coaches that no matter how hard I worked, it would never be good enough for them. I had coaches that would take insults too far on the court and in the classroom.

I had coaches that killed my passion and love for the game of basketball.

When a passion dies, it is quite possibly the most heartbreaking thing ever. A desire you once had to play every second of the day is gone; it turns into dreading every practice and game. It turns into leaving every game with earphones in so other parents don't talk to you about it. It meant dreading school the next day due to everyone talking about the previous game. My passion was destroyed when a coach looked at me in the eyes and said, "You could go to any other school and start varsity, but you just can't play for me."

SEE ALSO: Should College Athletes Be Limited To One Sport?

Looking back now at the amount of tears shed after practices and games, I just want to say to this coach: Making me feel bad about myself doesn't make me want to play and work hard for you, whether in the classroom or on the court. Telling me that, "Hard work always pays off" and not keeping that word doesn't make me want to work hard either. I spent every minute of the day focusing on making sure you didn't see the pain that I felt, and all of my energy was put towards that fake smile when I said I was OK with how you treated me. There are not words for the feeling I got when parents of teammates asked why I didn't play more or why I got pulled after one mistake; I simply didn't have an answer. The way you made me feel about myself and my ability to play ball made me hate myself; not only did you make me doubt my ability to play, you turned my teammates against me to where they didn't trust my abilities. I would not wish the pain you caused me on my greatest enemy. I pray that one day, eventually, when all of your players quit coming back that you realize that it isn't all about winning records. It’s about the players. You can have winning records without a good coach if you have a good team, but you won’t have a team if you can't treat players with the respect they deserve.

SEE ALSO: To The Little Girl Picking Up A Basketball For The First Time


Cover Image Credit: Equality Charter School

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5 Ways You Can Stop Producing so Much Trash

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