KEEPING THE BEAT: Clive Elementary is trying to keep the arts a...
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#1 Mar 15, 2010
It seems inconceivable that the arts can be so disrespected by today's decision makers! It is purely a case of those who have financial responsibility having different priorities over those that don't, and due to years and years of arts funding cuts in education, it seems many of today's decision makers are devoid of their own arts experiences - be they visual or performing. It could be one reason why sports programs are rarely removed from curriculums, because the decision makers have a direct personal reference to sports. Had they received good quality, creativity-inspiring,'why-the- arts-are-important-to-human-ex istence' education to the same extent they did in sports, maybe there wouldn't be so many arts programs cut.
Yes, in this instance it seems Hollywood got it right in Mr. Holland's Opus: "Sooner or later these kids are going to have nothing to read or write about."! Couldn't agree more.
This same debate again reared its head in the UK music scene with publicly-funded orchestra education programs being questioned. The primary response is along the lines of: if we didn't cut the school arts/music programs, orchestras wouldn't need to supplement the public education system! Someone even tried to accuse music conservatories of catering only to the middle and upper classes but again, the arts programs that were taken out of schools 20 years ago forced only those who could afford private music lessons to participate and now we are seeing the results of those reverse-arts-elitist decisions. How very sad.
And now? Now the general quiet majority public (possibly through the embarrassment of 'missing' out) seems to appreciate the benefits of creativity/ arts education in improving the chances of a both a balanced life and everyone's well-being, but still the decision makers seem to resist and resent it. For all the qualities mentioned in your article above, arts are as important to 'living' as are physical education, reading, writing, and mathematics (hang on... aren't these as much 'artforms' as music, drama, dance & art?!), and therefore deserve equal opportunity when educating our citizens. Whatever happened to our 'nature' classes, too? Did they get swallowed up by learning how to play The Sims in school?
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