To most, especially politicians, art programs are not very important. Some even have the gall to say that art programs are not just unimportant but a waste of resources. When it comes time to cut funding to a school, the art programs are the first to suffer. In the short term, superficially, cutting funding to the art programs may seem like a good idea. Politicians believe art does not actually benefit children. To politicians, art is just a hobby to pass the time, it’s just a trivial activity for small children.
Art, as surprising as it may sound, is very important to cognition. Art is not just a trivial activity for children, it is important for developing minds. Drawing helps with hand-eye coordination; you must control your hand to move the pencil to create an image of what you see or imagine. This is easier said than done, it takes many years to accomplish this skill and many years longer to master it. Creating artwork improves memory, focus, and motor control. Art helps children be more successful in other academic disciplines such as math and english. People can focus on tasks longer, work better, and be creative with solutions. Art requires creativity to stand out and being creative means developing problem solving abilities.
“With art you must solve problems by being creative and innovative,” said San Marcos art teacher Mrs. Rainville. “There are multiple answers to a problem, you must think innovative to solve them.”
Teachers drone on about the importance of creativity and innovation, but few of them are actually cultivating this. Art is about creativity, it is regularly cultivated in art classes. Creativity helps people solve problems in other academic disciplines and helps graduates get hired. Employers are not looking for number crunchers, or robots. If they were they would simply buy a computer. Employers are looking for creative, innovative people, people who can do things that computers can not do. By stifling creativity with rigid yes or no problems, we as a society are crippling our future generations for the work force. In art, there are no yes or no problems. Techniques are taught, practiced then employed in the final project. No one can tell you how to be an artist, you must figure out solutions to unique problems independently.
“In art you must think creativity,” said junior Julien Masbanji. “You have to think for yourself.”
Art is vital for development, and must be supported to ensure the success of our future descendents.