Schools play a pivotal role in cultivating future citizens and leaders, and this requires a well-rounded education that includes art programs for students.
ArtsGreensboro’s core mission is to sustain the local arts economy through mitigating barriers to participation and supporting activities that increase access to the arts for all citizens in the community. There is unfortunately a lack of accessibility to the arts in many communities. Furthermore, a greater issue at hand is the general misunderstanding of the importance of having properly funded art programs in the community and the consequential disregard for the importance of the arts in education.
In 2016, North Carolina state legislation nearly cut funding for the arts in public education to decrease class sizes, citing that smaller class sizes could boost student performance and close achievement gaps between children from low-income and affluent homes. While a compromise was reached sparing the arts programs after lobbying from education groups and concerned citizens, the arts remain severely underfunded in public education. A poll conducted by SurveyUSA in 2022 found that 62% of people who participated indicated they believe North Carolina public schools are underfunded. Moreover, the proportion of students receiving arts education has overall shrunk drastically over the past several decades. Art programs are constantly in danger of being cut in the face of shrinking school budgets despite its many crucial benefits to students.
Studies after studies have demonstrated the importance of arts education in the performance and development of students in academic, social, and emotional areas. The Arts Education Partnership performed a meta-analysis of 62 studies revealing that students who study music have increased achievement and proficiency in math, as well as increased reading and cognitive development. According to a 2019 study by the Kinder Institute for Urban Research, students with better access to art programs were 3.6% less likely to experience disciplinary infractions, improved 13% in standardized writing scores, and increased in 8% in their compassion for others. Engagement in the arts allow for students to gain team-building and collaboration skills, develop awareness of their internal and external environments, foster creativity and critical thinking, and grow in communication skills. Schools and communities must actively advocate for the support for art programs in order to shape well-rounded students.
Schools play a pivotal role in cultivating future citizens and leaders, and this requires a well-rounded education that includes art programs for students. North Carolina recently passed the Arts Graduation Requirement into law in 2020 which is a big plus for arts education. However, the responsibility of improving arts education funding often falls onto outside organizations such as ArtsGreensboro. ArtsGreensboro plays a crucial role in sustaining the local arts economy, mitigating barriers to participation and accessibility in the arts, and enhancing the appreciation of arts in schools and beyond in the community. ArtsGreensboro relies on continued support from the community in order to ensure the arts flourish for students and the youth. Give today at https://www.artsgreensboro.org.
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ArtsGreensboro invests in programs that provide access to the arts for all citizens, support arts integration in our schools, build capacity for our arts community, and unify the community through the power of the arts.