This archived article was written by: Josie Slade
Growing up, one of my favorite parts of school was the various forms of art I got to participate in. From drawing something in art class, to blasting my trombone in band class, to standing up in front of an audience to give a monologue. To me, the arts made going to school bearable. Even now, the arts play an important part in my day-to-day life. Without them, I wouldn’t be doing what I am. Why are the arts so important and why should we not only keep them, but also encourage people to actively participate in them?
Art is a language that all people understand. A person can paint a picture in France and we can look and understand what we are seeing in America. It doesn’t matter that the person who painted it speaks a different language than the one viewing it; a message can be conveyed easily to many cultures through imagery. Music is just as beautiful in a different language as in our own native tongue. The arts cross racial, social and cultural barriers. They can be used to unite a people.
The arts teach people that in complex forms of problem solving, problems are seldom fixed, but change with circumstance and opportunity. Learning in the arts requires you to surrender yourself to unanticipated possibilities as the work unfolds. You never know how a medium will react as you create works of art and sometimes the problem has to be fixed in a creative way. The same goes for the production of a play; you must see where you can change; only then can you improve.
The arts encourage creativity and inventiveness. A lack of creativity can be readily seen in the people around us. Many people simply don’t know how to create anymore; we have become comfortable with what we have. Without keen creativity and inventiveness, progress in our society and culture ceases.
Oscar Wilde once said, “Paradoxically though it may seem, it is none the less true that life imitates art far more than art imitates life.”
The arts provide a means for every person to learn. People learn in different ways, some visually, others verbally or even physically. Everyone is different, and you can’t decide that one way of teaching is correct above all the others. Through the arts, we can find the best way that we learn and the best way to teach others our ideas and ideology. A great way to change the world is through the arts.
Finally and perhaps most importantly, the arts give people the opportunity to express themselves. There are many different venues in the arts. Some people act, others draw, write or compose. A world without expression is a world hardly worth living in.
Can you imagine living day-to-day, doing the exact same thing without any variance? There would be nothing new to discover, nothing new to create; we would all just exist as one, and eventually, could you really tell yourself from someone else? The arts are what make us, and we need the arts to survive.