Arts are Essential
Many of our Bucks and Montgomery County public school students enjoy expansive exploration of the arts via curriculum and enrichment opportunities.
The Importance of Art Education
Experts agree and studies confirm that the arts are part of a well-rounded curriculum for students that help them to open up their minds, provide access to other cultures and history, and integrate learning in core subjects into creative and imaginative thought. Yet, the arts, like so many other subjects, are often in danger in our public schools due to budget concerns. Even a seemingly “small” adjustment in curriculum to offer programs with less frequency or with shorter class periods has a negative impact on our students.
The Benefits of Art Education
Studies demonstrate that arts education is related to higher academic performance, lower dropout rates, and increased community involvement. They also show that studying art for four or more years resulted in an increase in 50 points on the SATs over those who studied for less than one year. Arts also help to prepare students for the workforce by helping them to “innovate, communicate and collaborate,” according to Jenny Hershour, Managing Director of Citizens for the Arts in Pennsylvania. In short, the arts in all forms are important to us as individuals as well as to our economic future, allowing our communities to thrive.
Keep the Arts in Schools
Consider these trends:
- The Pennsylvania Department of Education at one time had six fine arts and humanities advisors and now has none.
- The prestigious Governor’s School for the Arts, provider of a summer enrichment program to 10,000 participants for 30 years, was cancelled in 2009 due to budget cuts.
- Although mandated by the school code as core curriculum, music and arts programs have been reduced or eliminated in many schools.
What Can You Do to Support the Arts in Education?
Learn more from the Pennsylvania Arts Education Network, a coalition of arts, education and advocacy organizations that work to strengthen support for arts education among policymakers and the public. And contact your legislators to express your point of view.
Let your opinion be heard in Washington and Harrisburg by contacting your legislators.
Locate contact information for your federal legislators
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Locate contact information for your Bucks County legislators
Locate contact information for your Montgomery County legislators