Budget cuts targeting art programs

Budget cuts targeting art programs

Erin McDunnough, Managing Editor

There are many gateways to learning, in helping a child develop a healthy appetite for education. Included in these are arts and music programs. According to the Americans for the Arts, (2002), art programs have “a tremendous impact on the developmental growth of every child and has proven to help level the ‘learning field’ across socioeconomic boundaries.” Applying critical thinking, learning to solve problems, and using their imagination are ways the arts help them not only academically, but also socially.

If that’s true, why are the programs being cut? Why, when artists and musicians make up so much of school populations? It’s during the years of school when children are figuring themselves out, developing both physically and mentally, that they desperately need these creative outlets. And yet, for some reason, it’s these important classes that are the first to go when budget cuts hit. The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities says that “more than 95 percent of school-aged children are attending schools that have cut funding since the recession.”

Not only is this leading to a world full of uneducated  “inside-the-box” brain’d followers- slaves to society’s mind and unable to think for themselves or aspire as an individual- but it’s stunting the growth of those in schools today . The arts help draw students out of their shells, and out of the clean cut way of learning. It forces them to use different learning styles rather than the standardized ways set by people who don’t take students’ needs into consideration.

The Global Post suggests finding alternative funding for the programs. They say the National Art Education Association (NAEA) “offer funding, such as the Teacher Incentive Grant, for educators to use for implementing and assessing school art programs.” Seattle’s solutions, according to the seattlepi, was to find ways to lessen the blow. Even if a school is unable to get the entire program funded, a few classes can be spared. Certain schools find alternate funding by hosting events and fundraisers, and others get the city to help them out. Whether getting the government involved is a good or a bad thing is up to them.

Monte Nagler of Monte Nagler Photography does not support the art programs being cut. He says art and music have been around for as long as anyone can remember; cavemen drew on their walls and told stories through their songs. Why anyone would take that away from us is preposterous. And he’s right; most people can’t even fathom a world without such creative outlets, yet it seems as if that is what we’re spiralling down toward. What happens when we finally hit the bottom?