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Comments about ‘My view: Keep arts programs in education’

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Published: Friday, Nov. 23 2012 12:00 a.m. MST

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Ultra Bob
Cottonwood Heights, UT

For me, Art is a two edged sword. There are two faces for art, one for communication and one for entertainment. The two are not the same and should not be confused as such. I put the communication side of art in the realm of children and the learning process. Art for entertainment is an adult thing.

Art is the weapon of choice for communication by the youngest. Tots can draw pictures before they can write words. Art continues to be the main tool for educators for many years. So Art for communication is an extreme necessity for schools.

Hopefully the student will learn to use words for communication and the need for art as a communicator ends.

For an adult, art is simply a form of entertainment. The perpetuation and support for adult art should be a private business and not a public expense.

Blue
Salt Lake City, UT

UBob: "For an adult, art is simply a form of entertainment. The perpetuation and support for adult art should be a private business and not a public expense."

I disagree. Art feeds the soul and inspires the mind. That is a public good that is every bit as worthy, perhaps more so, of public support than is public tax money going to support oil company profits.

Do you really believe that we'd have the arts programs we have in our community - the symphony, opera, ballet, art museums, etc., without a foundation of public support?

I am far happier that a tiny portion of my taxes support the arts than I am the considerably larger portion that supports privatized prisons and questionable real estate developments.

one old man
Ogden, UT

So once I turned 18 I should have stopped admiring things like DaVinci's Last Supper or a fine performance by the Utah Symphony?

Sorry, Ultra Bob, but I think you're missing something there.

pragmatistferlife
salt lake city, utah

After a lot of dialogue the author finally got to the core of the argument for arts in school "The arts programs are there to nurture and encourage creativity.." David Brooks said it very well in his recent book, arts in the schools are there to educate the whole person..arts educate the soul. I disagree with the author that the arts should be there as some form of substitute, but arts need to be in the schools as a compliment to math and science..after all math and science are really about creativity.

Dektol
Powell, OH

Don't you realize what is really important in the schools? Football and basketball! Much more important than the Arts - unless possibly it is a marching or pep band to support Football and Basketball. Gotta have priorities! Art languishes while the football team gets new uniforms.

jeanie
orem, UT

I am an elementary visual arts teacher. There are so many more advantage to having the arts in our schools than not.

1. In this fast moving tech age that we live in one of the most important skills a child can develop is a creative mind. The jobs and technology they will be involved in as adults do not exist right now. Along with writing, art is the easiest way to cultivate creativity.

2. Kids who otherwise "fail" in school can succeed in art. One of my 6th grade Special Ed students created some art that was fantastic. I asked him to show the class. The class was impressed and showed it in their reaction. This kid left art that day knowing that he was good at something and that his peers knew it too - a rare feeling for him.

3. Humans are not just thinkers and gatherers of information, but feelers too. The arts help us express and find joy in that side of life. Adults and children alike use art to communicate. If we only educate the mind we educated half the person.

Ultra Bob
Cottonwood Heights, UT

Blue.

“ Art feeds the soul and inspires the mind.”

These words mean nothing to me. I have yet to discover a soul in me, let alone feel it’s hunger. And while I can be inspired by beauty, I am pained by the ugly, disgusting and weird things in life.

I would not prohibit symphony, opera, ballet, art museums, hunting, fishing, hiking, books, and all the other things people might choose to do. I do object to their insistence that I should pay for their choices.

I find it improper that people who would not help their neighbor with a sickness would readily help him pay for a ticket to the ballet.

one old man.

What you do for entertainment is your own business, not mine.

Ultra.

Art is school good. Art in adult world is not a government job.

Eric Samuelsen
Provo, UT

Terrific letter. The arts save kids. Kids that are lost, marginalized, even bullied, often find solace and direction in the arts. Taking them out of schools is to perpetuate cruelty.

one old man
Ogden, UT

Ultra, I agree that "What you do for entertainment is your own business, not mine."

So why are you so concerned about it?

But the fact remains, that good arts programs in our schools enrich all of us -- if we seek enriching things, that is.

For those who are content to live in a bleak world -- those who would say something like, "These words mean nothing to me. I have yet to discover a soul in me, let alone feel it’s hunger. And while I can be inspired by beauty, I am pained by the ugly, disgusting and weird things in life."

I can only feel pity. You don't know what you're missing.

JSB
Sugar City, ID

It has been shown repeatedly that children who have music and art education and training do better in reading and math. They compliment each other. But since when is mental and cultural development a priority in the schools? Lets get our priorities straight. We have to have a good football team or all is lost. If it takes cutting the arts in order to have inter school sports, so be it. After all, our society needs more athletes than we need people who are refined and cultured and who can think.

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