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Sunday, October 12, 2008

Arts in Education

As a followup to my post a while back 'But what's it good for?' the Colorado Council on the Arts has recently put out a study on the importance of the arts in education. The arts being under attack in public schools is hardly a new thing, but I had no idea it was so bad in Colorado, having been cut from $1.2 million in 2002 to $200,000 in 2004.

And ironically, at the same time this is going on, employers are asking for more creative, innovative workers...

There's also a great resource at Keep Arts in Schools.

As we go through these tough economic times, we need to remember the importance of the arts to our children who will take us into the future.


cynthia said...

I'm not sure that Denver fares as bad as the rest of the state. A few years ago, citizens voted for funding art classes in every single public school in the city of Denver. But, Denver is a liberal island in a conservative state - so not sure what kind of arts education is in the rest of the state.

After listening to a podcast featuring author Daniel Pink - I just requested 2 of his books from the library. He hypothesizes that our economy and the future will be saved by the creative class - and that MFAs may be the new MBAs. When I was in Maine, the head of the art department at the time was heavily involved in the notion of the "creative economy" and how beneficial it is to cities and states. Granted Maine is an economy based on tourism, but it's still relevant.

Brian said...

Yeah, the thing that got my attention was that they based arts ed in CO as a whole based on the completed surveys that were returned. It was a large number, but part of me thinks that if a school had relatively dismal arts programs, I'd doubt the principal would want to advertise the fact.

cynthia said...

So true! I've been shopping for middle schools for my daughter for next year. Here in Denver, we have school choice, which means she can attend a school that's not in her neighborhood. There are several magnet schools we're looking at and I just found a brand new on called Kunsmiller Creative Arts Academy. I don't think we're going to look at it, but I love the concept behind it. They teach all the basics, but with a twist. Every subject includes the arts, whether it's music, theater, visual, or creative writing as an aid to understanding the bigger picture.