In a world where the arts seemed to be draining from the lives of school children, America may finally see a comeback in the funding for the art department.
This audio story reflects the vital importance of the arts in a child’s development into adolescence, during the most important time of learning: school.
Transcript provided for personal use only:
In present day, more people are sure of the importance of visual arts not only in our everyday lives, but also in the development of children’s growing minds and personalities, which are benefited through performing visual arts activities.
Many arts program advocates agree, when children get the chance to learn about the arts in schools, they are exposed to a practice that allows them to receive essential skill development. With art, children can develop long-term skills that will benefit them later on in adult-hood.
Lisa Phillips, author of “The Artistic Edge: 7 Skills Children Need to Succeed in an Increasingly Right Brain World,” believes that children can benefit in many ways from having art or music class during the school day. In her article, she shares the top ten skills children can learn from the arts: creativity, confidence, perseverance, problem solving, focus, nonverbal communication, receiving constructive feedback, collaboration, dedication, and accountability.
Monique Mason, instructor at Full Sail University, also feels that the arts are important in today’s society. In an interview, she talked about how the need for a visual society has manifested through pop culture. “As far as our mass-mediated world, we have become a very visual society and I think a lot of that stems from the introduction of MTV in 1981. Once people started putting a look to music, it just turned our entire society into very visual society.”
Over the past years it seems the government is always ready to cut more of the budget for arts education. In the 2012 fiscal year, thirty-five states submitted proposals for arts funding budget cuts, according to the National Assembly of State Arts Agencies. In 2011, Wisconsin senator Rick Scott Walker motioned to rid the state percent for arts programs and to cut arts funding programs by 73 percent. Also in 2011, Governor Jan Brewer of Arizona completely eliminated the states funding for the Arizona Commission for the Arts.
“In my profession as a teacher trying to put my material together to teach, I realize that the students are very visual students. And so, to not have an image is very detrimental; it holds their attention span. So, I really need to have visual arts as part of everything that I do,” said Mason, recalling the everyday importance of art elements incorporated into her lesson plans.
According to an article from LA Times, President Obama’s new budget proposal for the coming fiscal year would increase the federal arts budget by 10 percent. Starting Oct. 1, that would bring the arts education spending up to $1.58 billion for the 2013-14 budget year.
This proposed action from the President, seems as though it may be a turnaround for some classrooms in America. Hopefully with positive efforts, a better place in the world can be made for all children to get the right dosage of artistic expression.