Over the course of this first year as executive director at Mosaic Arts one thing became very clear – The Arts Matter. This has become my mantra of sorts over the past few months and it’s become my personal mission to share that message with the community as we start this new decade.
Why should anyone care about the arts? Isn’t it just for those that have disposable income for pretty things? The answer to that is a solid NO. Research shows that our children benefit tremendously when exposed to the arts. According to a study conducted by Kenneth Elpus, Assistant Professor of Music Education at the University of Maryland, made possible by a grant through the National Endowment for the Arts, the following was found:
- Each additional year of arts study was significantly associated with a 20% reduction in the likelihood that an adolescent would ever be suspended out of school
- Adolescents enrolled in music were 26% less likely to consume alcohol than non-music students
- Music students were also found to use marijuana 24% less than non-music students
Benefits of art education also include:
- Helping students develop resilience, grit and a growth mindset, which can help them master their craft, improve academically and succeed in life after school
- Helping students build confidence
- Improving their cognition
- Helping students learn a multitude of communication skills via a team or an audience
- Deepen their cultural and self-understanding. Read more here: www.studyinternational.com
Adults benefit from the arts, too. According to Americans for the Arts, Public Art addresses Public Health and Belonging by reducing stress and providing a sense of belonging. Public art makes pedestrians down to enjoy their space and provides a positive impact on mood. When so many cities across the nation are seeing brain drains taking place, public art is one element that draws people to a space and make them feel valued. And lastly, public art matters because our communities gain cultural, social, and economic value through public art.
Art has a positive impact in mental health. Art therapy is used to treat depression, anxiety and PTSD. It’s used in prisons with positive results including an increase in empathy, self confidence, discipline and creative thinking. A study found an 89% drop in prison infractions by those that participated in an arts program.
And it’s not just for mental health. Art directly impacts our local economy. Cash registers ring when an art show comes to town. According to a study done in 2017 by Americans for the Arts, the nonprofit art and culture industry generated $36.3 million in annual economic activity in the Greater Green Bay area. As a result of attending these events, people often stay in a local hotel, dine at local restaurants, buy gas locally and visit other nearby shops. The arts contribute to our local economy.
And lastly, employers love individuals with arts in their educational background. Employers want someone who can think creatively and collaborate with their team. Art education helps individuals “think outside of the box” and find creative solutions to problems. You can read more here:
This is just the tip of the iceberg. Over the course of the next year, I’ll share more reasons why THE ARTS MATTER.