When I reflect back on the person I have become over twenty eight years, I first think of my father.
He was a musician and music educator who ensured, thankfully, that his only daughter would be exposed to the arts at a young age. I saw my first Broadway show at three years old, was exposed to classical music as a baby, was taken to concerts, films, museums and, above all, was encouraged to be creative at every opportunity.
Did you know that disadvantaged children with a high level of arts involvement are more than twice as likely to earn a bachelors degree? (source)
Those children have a higher ability to think creatively, which is so key in developing critical thinking skills. Those critical thinking skills are the exact skills that will successfully carry them to adulthood. In 2018, critical thinking is vital in every part of your life and creativity is a skill that is extremely highly valued by employers (in fact, it’s ranked in the top three personality traits sought out in job interviews - Source).
The idea of the workplace has evolved so much over the past ten years, alone. Employees formerly bound to cubicles, who were formerly encouraged to “stay in their own lanes” are now working in collaborative, community-friendly environments that focus on the strength or skill of the individual and how that skill affects the group and bigger picture, as a whole. Your work can’t just be correct and accurate, it has to go the extra mile. Going that extra mile is impossible without creative and critical thinking, which comes from exposure to the arts.
Exposing children and communities to the arts is vital to the survival of society; It creates a more cultured population, which ultimately has the potential to lead to a more innovative workplace (something that we’re already seeing) with more employment opportunities.
Yet, only 61% of Americans in their area have sufficient access to the arts in their community. it’s not enough.
Americans For the Arts is our nation's leading nonprofit for advancing the arts in America. The arts are an essential part of a well-rounded education, yet are always the first to be discarded by budget limitations.
I would not be the person, artist, friend, daughter, or student I am today without the presence of the arts in my life. Please take a moment today to support and celebrate the power of arts education. - it is the greatest gift I could receive. Donations can be made here.