Are the Arts Still Here?

Today’s morning page prompt was brought to us by some lovely classmates and it goes:

“..Something strikes you when you move to America and travel around the world: Every education system on Earth has the same hierarchy of subjects. Every one. Doesn’t matter where you go. You’d think it would be otherwise, but it isn’t. At the top are mathematics and languages, then the humanities, and at the bottom are the arts.” – Ken Robinson

Do you feel like creativity is still advocated for in schools? Is education sacrificing creativity by having a rubric culture and an emphasis on tests? Are STEAM schools taking priority over theater, music, and art classes? In your own school experience did you feel like your arts education was lacking? If so, how?

So, you wanna know how I feel, eh? Well, I feel a lot of things, specifically frustration with this particular topic, because the arts are left out or left for last. “Nice guys finish last” is ridiculous, no they do not, but because our society has said so, it’s become relatively true. Stop making the arts into the nice guy stereotype, I’m ready to see them push their way through the door and get the girl, so to speak. I’m not really sure at the moment how I could help the arts gain recognition as a wholesome and good thing in schools, but I will never stop trying! Perhaps just being a constant advocate would help?

In my own education I felt like the arts were severely looked over. Sure we had a pretty nice art room, but it was by no means adequate for the learning we needed and wanted to do. My teachers had to fight and beg and plead for grants for funding, and approval from school administration to get anything done. In the last few years at my high school it had seemed to be getting better, but I think that is because the teacher used her own money a lot to get things that were rather expensive, but would last even in the high school setting. Her husband was a carpenter and all around handy man, so when we did printing she brought in old blocks of wood from home. When we did calligraphy and learned how to make our own quill pens, she brought in a turkey fan that she had cleaned from her husbands latest hunt. When we needed scraps of metals and other random bits, I have a feeling she scrapped a few of her own things and maybe went to a thrift store to bring in interesting pieces for our found object project. There were so many more instances like this and it made my classes in high school a lot better and I felt like I was actually learning, but we could all see that things like sports got the top priority. The year every other teacher got new text books, the art class had to wait until the next year to buy new acrylic paints.

So, the arts are incredibly important. They deserve equal opportunity to be funded and expand their learning horizons. That’s all for now.

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