Art Still Matters
by Jane Brown
Art is a reflection of our own humanity, a window into our contemporary condition. The arts are not frivolous endeavors; they help to inspire our community, the arts promote the advancement of creativity, and advance our understanding of goodness and beauty. Art acts as our expression of social values, breaking down preconditions and preconceptions leading to a more diverse community and broader cultural community and togetherness. Art helps us understand one another and heals wounds that may otherwise fester. The National Endowment for Arts
states that a great country deserves great art. These ideas can seem idealistic but art has proven to add real tangible value to ourselves and our future selves, our children, getting them involved in supporting the arts.
Students that receive an art education routinely have higher grade point averages, higher scores on standardized testing and significantly lower drop-out rates. Americans for the Arts
states that, “Students with 4 years of arts or music in high school average 100 points better on their SAT scores than students with just one-half year of arts or music.”
Online music endeavors like jamplay.com
have created online communities, which help to foster the advancement of music and musical support. Sites like this bringing together musicians from all over the world, from beginners to professionals, and have created a virtual support network. These virtual communities provide its members access to online lessons, professional instructors and fellow musical enthusiasts together in one place to share ideas and offer support.
Supporting the arts can also help support your local and national economy. The U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis has calculated the art contribution to our national GDP as high as 3.25%–that’s more then tourism and agriculture! The art world can seem hard to support when many art related productions and fine art objects can seem out of reach for many, but anyone can contribute to any one of the many non-profit art entities which exist locally or nationally. Contributing to these organizations not only helps them further the advancement of the arts but also the community as a whole. According to an online article written in artsblog, Non-profit art endeavors generate
$135 billion a year, creating and maintain over four million jobs, and contributes over $20 billion in government revenue. Art drives a more robust tourism to local communities. The U.S. Department of Commerce reports that tourism looking directly to visit art based institutions has risen around 24% in the last decade. The U.S. exports over $72 billion in art related products every year.
Art has a real social impact and help create a more robust creative and innovative society. Communities which have a higher support base for the art have seen more civic engagement, better child care and welfare and much lower poverty rates. In their report entitled “Their Ready to Innovate
report”, The Conference Board
reports “creativity is among the highest importance when hiring.” and state that, “Nobel laureates in the science are 17 times more likely to be actively engaged in the arts than average scientists.”
Art helps us communicate with ourselves and to the world at large. The arts are our lifeline to self expression. Unfortunately, funding for the arts have decreased at what should be alarming rates. It is important that all communities band together to support the arts in any way they can. The proof of its value has been stated above and to be sure there are many more advantages left unsaid.
In his essay entitled “The Importance of the Arts in a Community”, Craig W. Johnson of the Coastal Youth Ballet Theatre
, writes “Many arts organizations across the United States are working hard to undo the damage done by policies that convinced a nation that the arts are of limited value. The way many are accomplishing this goal is by re-extending themselves, actively inviting people back to the arts through outreach work in the Community. The hope is that by re-investing in the Community, people will be attracted back to the real source of change–the arts. This is the solution to re-inspiring a Community’s faith in and support of the invaluable concepts taught by the arts. It is also the solution to discovering one’s own rich potential and the ensuing social advancements that come from such a discovery.”