Keeping Culture Alive

The study of art, music, and theatre can help talented children to hone their skill into a craft, discovering passion and talents they didn't know they had.

As it turns out, there's even more to love about arts education than that!

Research has shown that when children spend time studying the arts, they're also reaping myriad non-artistic benefits, from personal growth to physical skill development.

It's why parents and teachers the world over are concerned with diminishing funding and reduced class time being devoted to study of the arts.

Traditional classroom art, music, and theatre learning has been correlated with numerous scholastic and personal benefits for children, and pushing it away in favour of more rigorous curriculum may deprive them of unique opportunities to learn and grow.

This summary from We The Parents chronicles the many reasons why arts ed benefits the classroom.

Just a few of the things to love about arts education:

  • It encourages healthy social development, encouraging children to participate in a group, receive constructive feedback, and practise learning about others and exercising tolerance.

  • Personal development also happens in art class, which is associated with higher feelings of self-esteem and well-being, a broader world view, more capacity for personal reflection, and the use of empathy.

  • It's also a place where skills like hand-eye coordination and gross and fine motor skills are boosted.

From this concern and these opportunities, campaigns such as "Arts in Education Week" in the USA were set up. In Ireland, the nationwide festival Culture Night was launched based on the principles of arts provision and has been running in Ireland since 2006.

Events like these are an opportunity to focus on all the positive effects of arts education for children, providing opportunities for all to celebrate arts education and advocate for its continued presence in schools and in the community.

Arts in Education Week ran from 13-19 September 2020 in the USA and was backed by Americans for the Arts. Visit both Americans for the Arts and Arts in Education Ireland for resources and to get involved.

As for Culture Night, the Irish Institute of Music and Song hosted a wonderful event on Friday 18 September in a bid to keep culture alive! On the day, RTÉ News covered the event on Morning Ireland, the Six One News and the RTÉ 9 o'clock news. Watch some of the coverage below!

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