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Gilhuys 1 Miranda Gilhuys Professor Hymes English 114A November 23, 2013 Word Count: 1235 Art defines us Beyond

Creativity Art programs and teachers are quickly diminishing because the art funds are being cut by nearly fifty percent and increasing, resulting in schools without art programs for students. Art funds are being cut because the federal government believes that they are a luxury that needs to be supervised by its own private sector and that there are higher necessities that must be provided for. The U.S Federal Government is witnessing the lowest annual deficit amount of $680 billion in the year of 2013 which means that the government must make a decision to cut back on their spending in order to raise the value closer to the previous year of $1.1 trillion. One of these programs happens to be the National Endowment for the Arts which receives grants from the government to support art programs. Congressmen do not see the importance of the art programs as an important necessity to expanding the minds of children. The world is built upon imagination and innovation as well as the ability to relate to each other through the arts and create relationships with others. Art program funds are vastly being cut and are affecting the country immensely because art teachers are losing their jobs, children need the arts to allow them to expand their ingenuity beyond math and reading skills, and because the art funds have decreased by 49%, special events sponsored to promote the arts are cancelled. Even though the government is facing the downslide of the annual deficit and must cut non-defense programs, art programs are significant to the future of the country and for generations to come.

Gilhuys 2 The world of Art is not just pictures of drawings and paintings but it is an essential characteristic of being human. Art allows people to let their imaginations run wild and free creating new and profound dreams and expression of their culture. A person leads an average day of drinking coffee, driving to work, and sitting in an office with a laptop and cellphone. What this person does not realize, is that everything that he uses was designed by an artist; the vehicle was engineered by mechanics but the layout was planned by an artist or the mechanic himself drew the design and took it upon himself to build the entire vehicle. The streets and buildings he passes are designed by architects who specialized in math and art in order to draw their imagination of a new building and make the correct measurements of its height and interior. Without Art, the world would be nothing and society might have still been cavemen. Thankfully, the world born innovators and inventors. Unfortunately, previous inventors have passed and economies are always looking for new ideas to advance technology and improve everyday life styles. Even though humans want to continue to make something extraordinary, the funds for art programs across the U.S are being cut and for some they are completely removed. Charles S. Clark, author of “Arts Funding: Is Boosting the Status of Art a Wise Investment?” argues that because the Country is going through its deficits, the Government views art to “be a luxury best left to the private sector.” Charles Clark explains how supporters of the arts are upset about the funding cuts, because teachers are getting laid off from their jobs, art programs are shutting down, and cultural festivals are being canceled because they can no longer afford to have them. He then shares that the National Assembly of State Arts Agencies have already cut their funding down fifteen percent to most of the states on the East side which includes: Minneapolis, Alabama, Florida, Kansas, and many more. Currently, Bill Clinton is promoting ideas to give the National Arts of

Gilhuys 3 Education more access to proceeds and funding which will give artists more rights to access their own funds as well. The author then uses a statement from Bill Clinton, “At a time when our society faces new and profound challenges, when we are losing so many of our children and when so many people feel insecure in the face of change, the arts and humanities are fundamental to our lives as individuals and as a nation.” Bill Clinton believes that “losing our children” means that our children are heading towards a world without art and a loss of culture. Art promotes culture and a safe space to express emotions and inspiration. Clark articulates that Bill Clinton is going to bring forth the arts and invest in their programs. He claims his positions on Clinton’s administration initiatives, but he also explains how critics oppose this because they know that this will keep their taxes high in paying for “unnecessary” programs that will have no benefit. Although art may seem like a luxury that should be paid for by private organizations, the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) does not have enough freedom or funding to give out loans to programs and in turn, such programs do not have access to their funds. Clark claims seem to be a little illogical because art programs are much more valuable than how politics view them. Beth Baker, author of “Arts Education” gathered information from and Mount Rainer Elementary in Maryland that “visual arts were slashed 30 years ago during a county budget crunch and not restored. As a result, each visual arts teacher serves four schools, seeing each class only two or three times a year for one hour. There is no art room, and the teachers bring supplies on a cart.” The lack of funding in schools are quickly depleting and so are the teachers. Since the funds are dropping, teachers are losing jobs, there are competitions for teaching jobs and many credible teachers must find a different career. In Oregon, in the Canby School District, Jennifer Dorsey taught art for 16 years and she was let go from her position by a letter because their funds were cut. Art is essential to children because

Gilhuys 4 children have innovative imaginations and they hold the future, but if the government no longer provides them with an education in the arts, then how can we expect to see a brighter future for the economy? The Federal Government is choosing to cut back the funds of programs to bring the economy back up to its previous deficit amounts of $1.1 trillion and to help society have a brighter future. The reasoning that the government has to resolve is based on the issue of money and how much money should be funded to organizations that will increase the amount of profits to the government at a substantial amount. Narric Rome author of “Congressional Appropriators Consider Cutting NEA in Half,” reveals the background behind the decisions of the congress to cut funds to certain programs. As the deficits drop ever so more and the government must cut back funds, Narric states, “Their bills call for the NEA to receive a 49% cut, totaling $71 million, which would bring the agency’s budget down to $75 million, a level not seen since 1979.” If the agency was originally $146 million, and now it is only $75 million, the cutbacks will greatly reduce the number of art programs and will result in eliminating professors and special events that bring communities together. The art programs are very important to the communities because of the impact it can have on their children within schools and their futures.

Gilhuys 5 Works Cited Baker, Beth. “Arts Education.” Baker, Beth. “Arts Education." CQ Researcher, March 16, 2012. Print. Pages 22, 253-276. Clark, Charles S. “Arts funding.” CQ Researcher, October 21, 1994. Print. Pages 4, 913-936. Dorsey, Jennifer. “Canby: Cutting Arts Programs.” Youtube.com. Oregon Education Association. April 29, 2011. Web. November 5, 2013.