What if the arts weren’t an integral part of our educational system?
It’s always something that comes up for debate whenever school budgets are discussed. The arts are treated almost like an expensive recess among primary and even higher educational systems that require funding. Why is this the case? Is it because it seems like fun from the outside? Because numbers aren’t apparent? Because they engage with aesthetic?
Arts are always on the chopping block and may not get their deserved attention in the educational system. What would our world look like if the arts weren’t essential pieces of societal growth? The arts foster creative problem solving, an ability to “See” the world more literally and consider it instead of just surviving it. The arts don’t simply produce paintings on the walls of museums. They create the look of this font, how this information is laid out and presented, how your nail clippers fit your hand, how a spoon curves, how streets are constructed and much more.
Students who study art are 4 times more likely to be recognized for academic achievement and 3 times more likely to be awarded for school attendance. These numbers are hard facts. Education is the root of all successful societies throughout history. When the education of the masses crumbles, so do the pillars of progress.
Arts and music education programs are mandatory in countries that rank consistently among the highest for math and science test scores, like Japan, Hungary, and the Netherlands. The most cutting-edge countries recognize the importance of habitual creative thinking and put it in the forefront of every day education at all levels.
Without the arts and music we would be a grey and somber nation. In fact, it could be argued that we wouldn’t be a nation at all. Even the accounting field, what many consider the opposite end of the arts world, applies creative thinking in unexpected ways. Numbers need a place to be, patterns need to emerge from data. Would we become a dead society of zombified, mindless wanderers without art, music and design to shape our most useful and essential tools? Mobile device manufacturers put design before function. Cars, silverware, clothes, hammers, coffee cups, every single element in our lives has required an artist or musician, and yet, when it comes time to look at the budget arts come to the chopping block first.
Federal funding for the arts and humanities comes to around $250 million a year, while the National Science Foundation is funded near the $5 billion range. Is this putting the cart before the horse? Are we dumping energy into solutions to questions that have never been asked? Are we forcing numerical solutions to problems that creative minds could resolve?
Where would your world be without design, music and the arts? Can human beings even function in this world without creative thought? How do we show people that every tool, every object, every thing that humans have created, required the arts?
Can any of these things exist without a creative energy to begin them?