Is Art Education a Necessity?

How art education can enhance learning, reach marginalized students, and offer a sense of meaning, purpose, and belonging

Suvi Helena
Politically Speaking

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Olivia Bauso on unsplash.com

In a previous post, I touched a little bit on what art education can offer to an individual, to community, society, and to democracy. Perhaps you found the reasons compelling and noteworthy, but you are still wondering why art education should be offered to all students in public schools. You might ask: why can’t students choose extracurricular activities based on their own interests? Why should everyone study music, visual arts, dance, and theater? Shouldn’t schools focus on core academic subjects like math, science, and history? Maybe you, like many others, consider arts as “nice-to-have” but not a necessity for a successful career and life.

Possibilities to participate in arts education is not equal

Surely, in an ideal world, every child would have the possibility to find what interests them and pursue them freely.

Unfortunately, the possibility to practice arts and creativity is very much tied to family background, location, and socioeconomic status. Not every child’s parents or guardians will have an interest or enthusiasm towards art, nor the financial means to support…

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