The Artistic and the Inhumane

As ages pass, support for the arts decreases more and more as other, “more important” issues arise. Even in schools, students and teachers devalue the importance of artistic expression, prioritizing them even lower. As an avid supporter of the arts, this trend has caused concern on my part, especially due to Romney’s plan to cut funding to the National Endowment for the Arts in half. Now, although I am a conservative, I do not support this plan.

Being in arts programs of any kind increases creativity in students, which is essential to today’s society and to the future. Most people assume that arts education is only necessary if a student wished to have a career in the arts, but that is simply not true.

Consider this; when scientists try to explore new theorems and unknown territory, they cannot simply stick to the rules and refuse to deviate. They need the creativity to try new methods, and to create those methods. How can they obtain this creativity while the arts are being smothered out of society? How can mathematicians create new theorems and explore new ideas without the creativity and the open-mind necessary to experiment with unprecedented methods?

In my life, the arts have played a crucial role in shaping who I am as a person, giving me the ability to be creative with both my school work and with life in general. Because of my involvement in the many different areas in the arts, colleges do a double take at who I am, and I have received endless opportunities because of it. My email and physical mailbox are constantly being filled with colleges asking me to apply, giving me access to free applications that do not require essays.

All this because I apply myself towards many activities. If I were just another regular, plain-jane applicant who had no involvement in extracurricular activities, those colleges wouldn’t look twice at me. This is the same for everyone. Even if you only get involved your senior year, that is one more year of newly-obtained skills that you did not have before.

I just can’t imagine a world without the creativity that I see in it. Honestly, who can? Everywhere you look, you see some facet of a designer’s or artist’s mind in that piece, whether it be a building, a piece of art, or a good book that you can snuggle under the covers with.

Cutting the arts would be like cutting off your right arm; excruciatingly painful and unnecessary. If the next generation does not have access to the artistic opportunities that we, as a student body, have now, what would our future look like?

I recently read the novel 1984, by George Orwell, for my AP English class, and the picture of society that I saw there was appalling. There was no creativity of thought or action allowed in any way, shape, or form. If someone thought a single treasonous thought, they were dead, because the government had access to everyone’s thoughts. The world was bland and dangerous, filled with hatred and lies strewn everywhere you went.

To lose the freedom of thought and creativity is a deprivation to the soul. Every human being, at some point, feels the need to express themselves either in thought or in art, whether that be music, painting, or theater. In the society in the novel, even so much as writing in a diary was considered treason, and punishable by death.

What does this make you think about our society? About how we would look like, on the whole, without the creativity that we are so blessed to be able to express daily without fear of repression? If everywhere you looked, the buildings and the streets would look exactly alike, because no one would have the creativity necessary to think of new and expressive structures.

We would be living in a world empty of emotion and beauty, deprived of entertainment and the vibrancy of life. We would be living, day by day, in a monotonous existence, meandering meaninglessly from one job to another. With no purpose, no meaning, what would be the reason for living at all?

That is why the arts are so important. They save us from becoming the type of society that takes away every form of freedom. Seeing the beauty in nature and in the world around us, how can someone even considering taking away the programs that make it all possible?

PS – this is part of one of the articles that I’ve written for my school newspaper, which you can read here! 🙂 This one hasn’t been published yet, so you are getting a sneak peek!

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