Opinion by CeciUrbanski
As children, many of us were encouraged to participate in sort of artistic activity. Parents put us in dance classes, supplied us coloring books and sent us to band camp. It made us look “well rounded” while simultaneously offering our bodies and minds an escape from the rigid school day.
However, as we got older, artistic extracurriculars were exchanged for AP exams. Parents and mentors suggested that we “start taking more serious classes now that our fine art credits are out of the way.” Suddenly, as high schoolers, we are told by American society that if we want success, we need to start doing the things that will get us a “real job.”
This hesitancy to embrace the arts and creativity as a young adult is evident in the financial priorities of some school districts. Oftentimes sports and science programs are prioritized over ne arts programs because they seem to bring more money into the institution.
Though every student at Marian is required to take two fine arts credits, murmurs I’ve heard from students in the hallway illustrate the ill attitude that some Marian students have about their fine arts class.
Though not everyone enjoys taking a fine arts class, it’s as if the classes are preceived as a box to check more than an enrichment opportunity.
Creative classes, clubs and careers have incredible value in our world, and this idea that a student must choose between art and STEM in order to be successful in life is ridiculous. Art is a universal facet of human expression and communication that can be applied to every student’s life and almost any career field.
Immersion in the disciplines of art, music and design develops a student’s ability to communicate and problem solve; it sets students up for success. According to a study done by University of California Los Angeles, low income students with high artistic participation are twice as likely to earn a bachelor’s degree than their peers with low artistic involvement. Statistically, art enhances education.
In addition to its educational benefits, art plays an important role in our society. To be exposed to art is to be exposed to the very essence of another human.
Becoming fluent in the language of art develops our empathy. In order to understand and value one another, we need to understand and value art.