Why Art Matters

Art saves lives. I know. It saved mine.

msGI am certain that I could not have survived the turmoil of high school and my own depression had it not been for the safe haven of the art room. My art teacher, Ms. Georgette Griffith (above), literally saved my life by giving me a safe place to exorcise my demons through art. I am eternally grateful for this and I attempt to pay it forward every day in my own classroom.

                                                           -Carrie King, Art Teacher, Mt. Eden High School

Here’s me in 1985, carving marble on the fire escape outside her art room:

Me1985ish

Did you know that young people who participate in the arts for at least three hours, three days a week for a year are: 4 times more likely to be recognized for academic achievement, 3 times more likely to be elected to class office within their schools, and 4 times more likely to participate in a math and science fair? Give children every opportunity to succeed. Make sure they are getting their fair share of arts education which can also lead to your child becoming a more well-rounded individual.

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WHAT DO THE VISUAL ARTS TEACH US?

  • The arts teach students how to make good judgments about qualitative relationships.
  • The arts teach students that problems can have more than one solution and that questions can have more than one answer.
  • The arts celebrate multiple perspectives.
  • The arts teach students that in complex forms of problem solving, purposes are seldom fixed, but change with circumstances and opportunity.
  • The arts make vivid the fact that neither words in their literal form nor numbers exhaust what we know.
  • The arts teach students that small differences can have large effects.
  • The arts teach students to think through and within a material.
  • The arts help students learn to say what cannot be said.
  • The arts enable us to have experiences we can have from no other source and to discover the range of what we are capable of feeling.
  • The arts’ position in the school curriculum symbolizes to the young: what adults believe is important.

Author: Elliot Eisner

 

“Art does not solve problems, but makes us aware of their existence,” sculptor Magdalena Abakanowicz has said. Arts education, on the other hand, does solve problems. Years of research show that it’s closely linked to almost everything that we as a nation say we want for our children and demand from our schools: academic achievement, social and emotional development, civic engagement, and equitable opportunity.

Still not convinced? Check out this:  9 reasons to study art in High School

 

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