Thursday, February 17, 2011

Save the arts in schools

Arts programs are in a precarious state. Literally, millions in funding are in the process of being potentially eliminated. There even is a danger of the National Endowment of the Arts to be eliminated entirely. See this excerpt from the Advocate for the Arts...
This week, the U.S. House of Representatives will bring to the House floor, a Continuing Resolution (CR) appropriations package that proposes to cut dozens of federal agencies and programs for the balance of the current 2011 fiscal year (March 5 through September 30).
The National Endowment for the Arts is targeted for a $22.5 million cut in the legislative proposal, and it is quite possible members of the Republican Study Committee will offer amendments to fully eliminate the NEA during floor consideration.
(From Advocate of the Arts)
Do you recall the cartoons by Schoolhouse rock? I do. In fact without this "artistic medium of teaching", I'm not sure I'd ever understood the process of a bill becoming a law. This cartoon taught me what civics class couldn't.

Take a moment and write a letter in support of the NEA and Arts programs in education by going to the Advocate for the Arts and filling out the form provided.
Below is the letter I submitted this morning, not because I teach art on a part-time basis; but because of the impact and joy art has brought to my own life. How could I not want that for the children in my community, state and country?
Thanks for your help.

As your constituent, I urge you to vote against the amendments to H.R. 1 (Full-Year CR) offered by Rep. Garrett (NJ), Rep. Walberg (MI), and Rep. Mack (FL) that seek to reduce funds or terminate funding to the National Endowment for the Arts.

I am blessed to have the privilege of teaching art in the after-school programs in my area. I have with my own eyes seen the positive impact that arts has had on my students. With each project the students grow in creativity, confidence, courage and skills.

In many cases, creativity is not given a chance to take root in the lives of our children, due to cuts in the area of arts in education. In a world that demands creative and excellent thinkers, why would we cut resources that help to foster those characteristics in our children?

My ultimate reason to aid arts education for children is to offer them the experience, joy and discover that arts have to offer; and carry those gifts into adulthood. Art is beauty and the quality of life is improved because of arts. Retain funding for arts, not for me and my vocation; but for the young minds that have yet to experience it's beauty first hand.

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