Tuesday, March 30, 2010
State Of Emergency
some of the positive impacts of art education:
* 4 times more likely to be recognized for academic achievement
* 3 times more likely to be elected to class office within their schools
* 4 times more likely to participate in a math and science fair
* 3 times more likely to win an award for school attendance
* 4 times more likely to win an award for writing an essay or poem
Young artists, as compared with their peers, are likely to:
* Attend music, art, and dance classes nearly three times as frequently
* Participate in youth groups nearly four times as frequently
* Read for pleasure nearly twice as often
* Perform community service more than four times as often
The combined impact of declining corporate sponsorship and drastic government budget cuts is producing a genuine calamity for arts organizations in the US.
Concerts, theatrical productions, art exhibitions and, in some cases, entire performance seasons are being canceled at an alarming rate. Public schools are losing arts programs; artists are losing grants; numerous theaters, opera houses, music venues and galleries face closure. Arts workers, too, are losing their jobs, with the current unemployment rate in the field estimated conservatively to be 12.5 percent.
The CEO of nonprofit Americans for the Arts, Bob Lynch, told the Associated Press that some 10,000 arts organizations nationwide have disappeared or are close to ending their operations. This represents about 10 percent of the total, and the economic crisis is only a few months old.
Arts organizations in the US are especially vulnerable because so many in recent years have come to rely on either corporate largesse or the contributions of wealthy individuals, or both. Aside from the inevitable ideological limitations this placed on arts groups, this corrupt relationship tied the latter to the fate of the stock market and the wider economy. From here