Thursday, August 25, 2016

Why You Should Fund the Arts

Art is one of the most important things about being alive and yet, it remains a distant 4th place priority in most education systems. Not everyone is an artist, but then again not everyone is a scientist or mathematician.  The world would be a very boring place if we were all so well-rounded.

In my personal experience, I have found that art is something so intrinsic to my happiness and ability to express myself that imagining life without it seems impossible. I’ve been lucky enough to make a little money from my chosen form of expression - photography. One of the things I’ve learned since I started working at VSA Texas is that no matter what age, ability or income bracket you fall in, art is a viable career option.
Photo I took of my son at the beach in Costa Rica a few years ago
My son was diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder when he was 3 years old. He did not start speaking clearly until he was 4, but ever since I can remember, he built things, he drew things, he sang, he danced. He did so many things to express himself before a full sentence came out of his mouth and I know that without art, he would have not been able to show me exactly who he was and what was on his mind.
Photo of bathtime art my son made when he was just learning to speak
Sadly, art hasn’t been a high priority in education for a long time. What if we spent as much time encouraging creativity as we did teaching students how to pass standardized tests? What if we allowed children to draw all over their homework, or better yet, draw the answers to their homework? The ‘what if’s’ could go on forever, but why not try focusing more on what we know works for students and make real change?

This is why it is so important to fund the arts. When you send a young person to one of our internships or camps, our dance class, our writing workshops, you are not giving someone the gift of passing their time. You are giving them the gift of an opportunity to do something that would have otherwise been impossible. You give them the gift of a new career path. You make art a priority.
Photo of my son and I at our house last year
At VSA Texas, our mission is to create an arts-inspired community that welcomes all abilities. Contributing to the creation of new artists will always be something worthwhile. 

To support the diverse, arts-inspired programming of VSA Texas, please click here to donate. Every little bit counts!

No comments:

Post a Comment