MSU’s student voices on Trump’s art cuts

Portraits in Calcia Hall

“I want to make a career in the arts, and this action that our new president is taking is making us wonder if we will be able to pursue a successful future career in what we love to do, said Jocelynn Mattingly, who is a sophomore music education major. Her along with a couple of other Montclair State University art students responded heavily regarding President Trump’s new executive order. 
Recently, President Donald Trump’s administration proposed a new order, and his plan of action called for a cut in arts funding, and involves a first spending plan to eliminate the National Endowment for the arts, which provides grants for arts education and enrichment programs. This overall indicates that many federally funded arts programs are now on the chopping block. 
Some of the students do not closely follow politics to fully know the extent of what is happening, but some students are taking this issue into personal matters. Melissa Alitera, a senior art therapy major said, “I’m do not follow politics because I hardly know anything about it, but hearing about it freaks me out a little bit because the arts are just as important as anything else in life, because it allows us to be creative and imaginative, and without it we are nothing.”
A more political response to this was given by theatre major German Martinez, who said, “This is what we do and study for a career that we eventually want to obtain. There is hardly any consideration in our new government for funding of the arts, because there is currently more importance for other conservative aspects such as the military. The situation is unfair we are not getting the support and recognition that we need.”
Jason Rosenbaum, a freshman musical education major gave a unique perspective towards the issue and said, “I think that it is different for us as college students because we pay a tuition to study what we want, and for me it is music. But students that are in public schools that are ran by the federal government should worry a little bit because the government funds them for things such as art supplies and musical instruments, and that could be jeopardized for those students because many of those beloved items could be taken away. I recently signed a petition about fighting to keep all the different kinds of art programs for students, because the arts are one of the most fundamentals that we have, and are part of a learning experience in schools everywhere.”
Virginia Vass, a senior musical theatre major, with a more positive outlook on the issue said, “I know that the arts are never going to go away for good, because the government can never actually do that. There are patrons who are passionate about arts that are going to keep them around in various ways and forms. This won’t start a major problem at all. I am, along with many are still going to go to movies and concerts because they will always be around in new and refreshing ways, and they will not stop showing due to this. If defended, people are going to start their own protests and standings to support the arts.”

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