Jamal Rossi, an academic leader, recently shared his view on the challenges of being an art educator. The nation continues to focus on a traditional curriculum of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM), despite the acknowledged importance of an arts education. The lack of focus on arts in education is shortchanging our kids. This is particularly true for inner-city kids, where funding for arts education is often cut at their schools. Without a solid education foundation, that includes arts, our kids are not given the best chance to succeed in this increasingly demanding economy.
The creativity that comes from integrating arts into public education is critical to creating leaders in all fields who can think outside of the box and express their ideas in a variety of platforms. Early education programs that ask students to think about more than facts, numbers and dates will aid them in higher-level thinking that is necessary to succeed later on. By allowing students the opportunity for self- and creative expression, arts programs provide a framework for individuals to be innovators and forward-thinkers.