"Art enables us to find ourselves and lose ourselves at the same time." Thomas Merton
Growing up, I was never great at sports or even had an interest in them. My schools focused more on sports and encouraging the students to either participate in it or attend games. What I have been passionate about has rarely concentrated on by my schools - the art programs. I fell in love with the arts, but more specifically with choir. It started when I was a young girl singing in my church's choir, and I really got involved in the arts when I began attending public school in seventh grade. I continued to be involved with choir throughout my four years of high school. Being in choir allowed me to figure out who I was as a person but also build a community.
"Art is the last form of magic that exists." Unknown
Being involved with the arts has many benefits to someone's education. According to the National Arts Education Public Awareness Campaign, young people who participate in the arts are 4 times more likely to be recognized for academic achievement, 3 times more likely to be elected to class office within their schools, 4 times more likely to participate in a math and science fair, and 3 times more likely to win an award for school attendance. Schools may focus more on sports but the arts can help students with other subjects. The arts usually receive very little money from districts and are usually the first to be cut when the government is trying to save money. It causes the arts to host fundraisers in order to raise the money needed for each program to continue on. Even though the arts have been proven to help improve academics, they are the first to be cut.
"Without art, the crudeness of reality would make this world unbearable." George Bernard Shaw
People enjoy going to concerts, seeing plays, going to movies, and visiting art museums, but this is made possible by having arts programs in school. What happens to the students who do not play sports and have no arts program to get involved in? The art programs include art classes, band, choir, and language. These programs can help students discover a passion for something that can never be found without funds to keep the arts going on. Many students may never get involved in Hollywood, be on Broadway, or create famous paintings, but it gives them a chance to experience things and learn about different cultures than they would otherwise not have. From my own personal experience, I got to sing songs in foreign languages, learn about different genres of music, and sing music from different centuries. I learned to work hard for something you want by helping out at fundraisers, by selling chocolate bars outside supermarkets and at the ferry in order to raise money to go a choir trip. The arts program will always be important to me because my own experiences that have shaped who I am today.