Ok, so I've said a lot about how important creativity and the arts are to the mechanics of a functioning society. And indeed this is the focus when attention turns towards funding for the arts. But there is something to be said for the importance of l'art pour l'art. Part of what makes Portland so awesome is the ubiquitous art culture here. From the walls of every coffee shop, to the stages of every hipster bar, to the stages of the big theatres, Portland enjoys a rich culture of quality art by local artists. It's part not only of what makes Portland the unique municipality it is but also what gives an otherwise monotonous existence meaning, intrigue, interest. In addition to public figures and the like having the cognitive capacity for solving problems in creative and novel ways, we're also going to want our fair share of beauty makers.
So the question remains - why leave art in the schools? Well, unfortunately for most students it's simply the only place they have access to it. Art has been shown to dramatically lessen the academic achievement gap between children of different socio-economic groups, and so it is so often that the children who would benefit most from arts education in school are often the first to be forced to go without, while students in private schools enjoy the arts activities that will inevitably enable them to succeed academically, attend good colleges, become involved and self sustaining citizens. Ubiquitous arts education - arts integration into the curricula of every public school - is one major step to ending this cycle of correlative inherited wealth and success in life. There are groups in town, including the NPO I work for, that try to bring arts education to schools that have removed the arts from curricula, that try to create access to the arts for children who otherwise don't have access to creative experiences. But our resources are limited.
Sorry, this was a bit rambling. But this is a very important and misunderstood issue - and I'm grateful that it is being addressed. Thank you.
posted 2 years, 12 months ago
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