Is Art in the Community Important? (by Tanner Padbury)

Introduction:

tanner.padbury-scifiplayfestMy interest in film and involvement with community theatre led me to write on the theme of Arts/Cultures. Through my involvement in working for the community theatre organization Monkey With A Hat On and through exploring the arts and cultures theme, I was able to find passion in myself about art in the community. Living in a world where art is usually expensive and somewhat hard to access makes the abundance of community art in the Portland area very valuable. Art should be accessible and affordable for the community to partake and be involved. Thinking about these things brought me to write a post on why Art is important in the community.

 The Research Collection

Baker, B. (2012, March 16). Arts Education. CQ Researcher22, 253-276. Retrieved from                       http://library.cqpress.com/cqresearcher/

This article from the CQ Researcher is about the decline of activity in arts education, and how art is an essential part of the education system. The article is linked to numerous sources including data on the declines of activity in arts education in America, as well as interviews with Pros and Cons comparisons. This Article will be useful to me to help flesh out my point from an educational standpoint. I will be able to show that Art is important in the community in the education world as well as the social and personal everyday life. This article is linked to so many other sources that I will easily be able to expand from the article itself to get more specific.

Guetskow, Joshua. How The Arts Impact Communities. Princeton University. 2002. Web.

This is a paper written out for use at Princeton University, and is all about how art affects the community in multiple different ways. This piece of writing is also linked to numerous sources, and is lengthy and dense enough that I should have no problem finding information in it. This paper is exactly what I needed for my piece. It will provide me with so many examples and ideas that I will be able to incorporate them differently into my own paper. As well as providing information, it provides me with an example of how I will need to write to be effective.

Wright, Shelagh. The Art Of Life: How Arts and Cultures Affect Our Values. Common Cause:                    The Case For Working With Values And Frames. Blog Post. Sept. 2013. Web. Nov. 2014. This is a blog post about how art can have a positive effect on the world and society. Although it comes from a personal standpoint, the person writing seems knowledgeable in their topic, and they hit all of the key parts of art being important in the community. This post will help with my paper because it is short and concise, and very easy to pull information from. It makes clear points about why and how art can benefit people and the world, and this is what I wish to do with my paper.

 The Public Writing

The Importance of Art in the Community

Human beings today are busier in everyday life than they have ever been. Having any combination of work, school, family, or social life doesn’t leave time for much else. In order to achieve happiness, many people have found that it is necessary to find some sort of balance in their lives. Priorities have to be set to obtain balance, and in having these priorities many of the things that can bring joy and some sort of improvement in life is left behind. One of these things is art.

For many different people there are different forms of art that can bring joy, as well as improve everyday life. Integrating art into life doesn’t necessarily require everyone in the community to become an artist, but simply the involvement in art in some way or another. Early on in life art is introduced to children and young adults in Arts Education. In the past 20 years or so, involvement in arts education has declined immensely. Budget cuts have made it harder for improvement in these areas of necessary education. Not only is art important in childhood, but in the everyday social life, as well as personal life. Although there has become less of an emphasis on art in education systems as well as everyday life for people, it is still an essential part of the community.

In an article posted on library.cqpress.com titled Arts Education, Sandra Ruppert, executive director of the Arts Education Partnership says “The research shows there are many direct benefits from all of the art forms, in different ways… In music we see a lot of connections between studying keyboards and understanding mathematical concepts. We see drama as a way to help early readers develop their comprehension skills. When they have an opportunity to act out the story, they gain a greater comprehension in reading.” She points out evidence that art is in fact a necessity in education and the early stages of growing up. Although art may seem like a break for creativity and fun, it is this creativity that sparks new ideas and breakthroughs in other areas, like architecture, science, and more.

In a way, the creation of art by communities helps to define what community means. This is made clear by the Ontario Arts Council in a manual posted by Princeton at www.princeton.edu: “Community Arts is an art process that involves professional artists and community members in a collaborative creative process resulting in collective experience and public expression. It provides a way for communities to express themselves; enables artists, through financial or other supports, to engage in creative activity with communities; and is collaborative – the creative process is equally important as the artistic outcome.”

Art can literally make the community a brighter and more colorful place, but can also do this by getting people involved and working together on something that will bring joy to many.

Art can also have an effect on a much deeper, personal level of the community. In a blog post by Shalegh Wright of Mission Models Money, it is made clear that art can have an enormous affect on our values. She lists:

-Self acceptance

-affiliation

-community feeling

-freedom

-creativity

-self respect

-equality

-unity with nature

All of these values are involved with art that is personal, which should be all art. Being able to express one’s values is huge when it comes to community. Each person in a community’s form of expression come together, and creates bonds between people, enabling community members to really know each other, and to work together to make the community a better place.

It seems that not everyone can be an artist. This is a lie. Maybe, not everyone can be a professional artist, but that is not the point. Within the soul of every human being lies a form of expression which is unique to them. Even though there are few ways to channel this expression, what is being channeled has endless possibilities. No two people’s styles of expression are alike. Everyone can be involved in art, and if everyone was, the world would be a more honest and better place to live. Art is so important for the community.

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2 comments

  1. Danielle Hill

    Tanner,

    Thank you for sharing you experience with art, and how it can benefit us all. I personally find art to be significantly important to have in our communities for a variety of reasons that you have already touched upon in your writing. Art is a wonderful way for people to express themselves as well as to become involved and learn new life lessons along the way.

    In your writing you did a great job expressing to me, the reader, on your stance of how important art in the community truly is. I liked that you added that part about not everyone being able to be an artist being a lie, because that is so true! If you find something that makes you happy and you enjoy doing it keep it up! Great job, Tanner!

    -Danielle

  2. Tina Jones

    Hi Tanner,

    I’m glad to have read your post! I firmly believe that arts in education is essential, and it’s sad to see it dwindling in classrooms today. As a musician I totally agree with your source Sandra Ruppert and her linking of music and math. Music, Art, and Drama are all so very important to engage and expand the mind. It should have the same importance in schools as core studies.

    Your post is well done, and an engaging read. I can tell that you have a deep interest in your subject, shown by your writing. And the link between your community project and this writing is seamless. Well done!

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