Why Art Matters

July 13, 2015
Art, Education, & Life Skills

Creating a piece of art involves a lot more than just creativity. Vision, planning, decision making, flexibility, problem solving, inventiveness, sense of self . . . all of these skills go into artistic creation. And because any success in the arts requires these skills, arts programs make a significant positive difference for young people across socioeconomic lines, but especially for those kids living in communities plagued by poverty and violence.

Unfortunately access to arts programs is increasingly limited for today’s kids. Without arts programming, young people stand to miss out on a lot of these critical skills and learning opportunities. A recent article from PBS Parents discusses some of the reasons why arts education is important for young people and how it works as a fundamental part of youth development.

Benefits of Arts Programs
Some of the benefits of arts programs may seem obvious, while others are more unexpected. Perhaps one of the most unexpected, yet critical, impacts is that there is a connection between participating in arts programs and academic achievement. According to PBS, kids who participate regularly in the arts are four times more likely to receive recognition for academic achievement.

For younger kids, arts programming helps develop motor skills as well as descriptive and emotional language and communication skills. It also increases innovation and creativity in young people and improves their ability to process visual information and their decision-making and problem-solving skills.

Arts education also increases cultural awareness in young people, teaching them to interpret different cultural messages behind works of art. It can also teach a sense of community identity and self-esteem as young artists create pieces that reflect their experiences and the experiences of their community.

Art and tCI
This month’s spotlight programs, the Holy Cross Visual Arts and Woodshop programs, provide creative outlets for young people in Chicago’s Back of the Yards neighborhood, where funding for arts programs in local schools has been significantly cut. Along with all the other benefits we’ve mentioned, these programs offer an opportunity for kids to stay positively engaged and connected with strong, positive role models.

Please consider making a donation to the Holy Cross Visual Arts or Woodshop programs (or one of the parish’s other arts programs) to help participants develop creatively and build hope for the future.

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