We Need Art. Period.
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We Need Art. Period.

I am an artist, and I need art. We all need art.

We Need Art. Period.
Kelsey Collier

As an artist, the most discouraging and frustrating thing to hear is that some people want to cut arts from our schools and stop funding art programs. When it comes to budget cuts, arts funding always seems to be put on the chopping block first, even though art programs are already given a very small percentage of funds (the National Endowment for the Arts, for example, makes up only .012% of the federal budget), and, in a school setting, when budget cuts are needed, the first programs to go are art programs. Fine arts, some people say, are unnecessary and a waste of time and money; kids in school need to be taught math and science more than music and theatre because "artists can't get jobs." Sometimes, when I tell people my major, they look at me and say "you know you'll never get a job, right?" or "I hope your ready to spend your life working at Starbucks."

Somehow, we have created a culture that thinks art is less valuable than, well, everything else. Many kids who wish to go into art are told by their parents that art isn't a "real job" and that they need to go into something that "will make them more money," even if they won't be happy doing that other thing. We have created a culture that discourages people from making art and that teaches children that artists "are bums" who "aren't smart enough to do anything else." We have created a culture that says "we don't need art."

Here's the thing: we need art. Life would be boring without art. Imagine the world without music, without dance, without movies and plays, without paintings and sculptures and drawings and photographs... it looks pretty dull if you ask me. For some people, art is an outlet, a break from the everyday bump-and-grind; for others, art is a way of life and is something they couldn't survive without. Art is what teaches us about the people who came before us -- what they thought, what they valued, how they did things, how they lived. Art connects us with people we have never met and with places we have never seen; art gives us a chance to forget about our lives for a while and to be a part of someone else's; art allows us to have freedom and to be ourselves in a world that tells us we should all be more alike. Art has a positive benefit on our lives; for example, studies have shown that children who learn to play instruments from an early age have stronger connections in their brains than those who did not, and that those who create art also enjoy the benefits of stronger brain connectivity.

Art is a beautiful thing that brings joy into so many lives, and it would be a shame to see it taken away from the majority of people because the minority thinks it is not important and does not deserve funding.

“I would rather die of passion than of boredom.” -- Vincent van Gogh

I am an artist, and I need art.

We all need art. Period.

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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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