In a recent discussion at Kirkland Fine Arts Center, members of the Decatur community discussed some of the reasons the arts are often overlooked in the public schools and some steps we could take locally to help remedy the situation.
- We don't make enough noise. When art organizations receive grants, they write a letter to their legislators, because they are told to, but we never write beyond that.
- Being a pro-arts politician this election season could be harmful to their numbers, because government spending in our current economic state is under scrutiny (the arts are not valued enough to have public spending)
- The general public doesn't understand what "arts in education" is. Cutting out paper is considered art.
- It is difficult to explain the cross-disciplinary advantages of the fine arts.
What can we do locally?
- Collect success stories from local teachers. Share them with politicians, school board members, superintendents, and anyone with influence on arts in the schools.
- Invite politicians and school board members to arts events and ask them to actively engage (i.e. guest judge, lecturer, etc) Competition works so invite competing school districts
- Encourage teachers to contact friends for assistance in writing grants.
- Encourage fine arts teachers to receive certificates for administrative positions where they can create change
- Create an Arts Booster Club/Sponsor funding drive for local arts programming