Creativity and talent are often inborn but it can be honed. That’s what workshops are for. It’s why exposing kids to the arts at a young age gives them higher chances of excelling in it later in life. With all the problems and negativity in the world today, immersing in the various aspects of the arts is both refreshing and a learning experience for many. We cherish the feeling of being in the presence of such works of arts that only true masters are capable of creating and we can’t help but admire in wonder.
Unfortunately, the arts do not receive the support it needs from the federal government. President Donald Trump’s various budget cuts hit artists all over the country hard and are a big blow to an already suffering industry. In a world that is fast becoming digital, everyone should know more about the arts as a means to detox from our increasingly stressful life. However, Trump does not see the economic value of the arts and only sees it as an additional expense that the government has to support.
Funding for arts education is once again on the chopping block, but that doesn’t mean teachers have stopped encouraging students to develop their creativity. Some of the most expressive work produced this school year by the nation’s middle and high school students was recently recognized at the 2017 Scholastic Art & Writing Awards—the nation’s longest-running and most prestigious recognition program for creative teens. The awards ceremony and accompanying gallery reveals inspiring and inventive arts education from around the country and the importance of arts educators in the lives of students.
Other benefits of the arts are apparently making students smarter, perform better in school and promote a positive school culture. Artistic students get higher grades than their regular counterparts. Artsy students are more well-behaved too and are less likely to skip classes or not finish school.
Research shows that K-12 students who study visual and performing arts reap benefits like higher SAT scores. A well-regarded study by the University of Maryland found that for each year a student has art coursework, they are “significantly more optimistic about their chances to attend college than non-arts students.” Each year of art class is also “significantly associated with a 20 percent reduction in the likelihood that an adolescent would ever be suspended out-of-school,” according to the study. Despite these benefits and the critical role educators play as mentors, when budget cuts come, art teachers tend to lose their jobs disproportionately often. With an additional $9.2 billion in federal education cuts looming, it’s likely that more art teachers will get pink slips.
The arts are not all about painting and artworks. The performing arts are also another branch of the arts. Students who are into the arts are more likely to enjoy their time spent in school and have a wider network of friends and acquaintance than students who refuse to participate in any artistic groups. But on a larger scale, President Trump’s budget cuts hurt the industry even more than what’s visible to the naked eye.
On President Donald Trump’s birthday, New York City artists held performances inside Trump Tower’s not-so-secret public gardens to issue a call-to-arms against the White House’s proposed budget cuts to arts funding.
The performances, which took place earlier today, are part of a rising trend where activists now use Trump Tower’s public gardens as spaces for political activism. The gardens and atriums inside Trump Tower were a part of Trump’s 1979 agreement with the city, which led to the creation of 15,000 square feet worth of public space in exchange for a zoning variance to build an additional 20 stories. The agreement also stipulated that these privately-owned public spaces (POPS) be accessible to the public from 8 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. daily.
“Today in an act of resistance, we take back what is rightfully ours, the public space inside Trump Tower, and use the power of art to protest this administration,” said New York City Council Majority Leader Jimmy Van Bramer, who is also chair of the committee on cultural affairs. “There is an assault on the arts, culture, and thinking in this country right now.”
Over the years, the arts have gone through a lot of budget cuts but they have been done subtly and gradually. This time around, that of Trump’s is a major blow because it is a clear indication of what is more to come from him until his term ends. He is clearly trying to demolish the arts by cutting funding, crippling the industry so it can’t go on anymore. Artsy students who want to take up art-related courses loses the chance to do so because the government can’t afford to subsidize their education. Can you imagine the world without art in it? It is such a sad place indeed and a life devoid of creativity for the young ones where their imagination can run wild.