Utne Blogs > Arts and Culture

What are the Arts Good for Anyway?

by Carrie Swiggum 


Tags: art, public school, No Child Left Behind, Mozart, Greater Good,

frowny kid in art classArt is dwindling in public schools, thanks partly to the No Child Left Behind act passed in 2002. Greater Good examines the importance of the arts in today’s schools and society. More than just a treatise on why art is good, this article “Arts and Smarts” goes beyond the typical art-matters debate and hones in on why we really need art in kids’ lives today.  

Source: Greater Good

Image by Korean Resource Center licensed under Creative Commons 

alan john gerstle_1
3/17/2009 10:07:06 AM

Unfortunately, as the history of the arts and government has shown--in this country at least--is that the government won't go away if it provides arts funding. It would be helpful if businesses that rely on "commercial artists" (many of whom would be fine artists if they could earn a living at it) like the advertising business and the public relations business create PSA's in various media as advocacy tools. The ad council creates such announcements to discourage people from doing things (smoking, drinking, staying in school); why not create announcements to encourage the arts. And you need not look for talent to do so. The talent is already there, and the producers could be aiding their own cause as well.


tom hendricks
3/16/2009 11:23:43 AM

Arts are important. But I say let's look at them in a new way. Instead of the NEA choosing art winners and blocking out most other art groups, let's reroute government funds to art centers. These city centers would be open to any artists in the neighborhood/ city. They are not limited to one use only halls. Two examples of one use only halls are a performance hall or a museum. Instead they are multiple room centers with spaces for artists to show their work, theaters to perform plays, rooms for music , dance or any performance art, places for art groups, places for speakers to give talks, art libraries, etc. etc. Then the government should get out of the way. That's it. Fund regional art centers, then go away. Very little red tape and bureaucracy. With such art centers, it would be easy to integrate art into schools. The students could go to the art center to see all kinds of art, or perform at the art centers, or help run them, etc. Who wouldn't want to go to these centers weekly?