Public schools in Oregon — and the rest of the nation — have been dealing with shrinking budgets and the simultaneous burden of focusing on government-mandated testing. Many schools have had little choice over time but to cut back or eliminate classes in visual art, music, theatre and dance. Arts education advocates say art is not just extra budget fat, but an integral part of the human experience that helps kids’ brains develop, stimulates critical thinking and can be an effective way to help students engage with academic subjects as well. We’ll hear about different approaches to getting K-12 students access to arts, and we’d also like to hear your experience.
Did you have visual art classes, music, dance or theatre when you were going to school? How did exposure to the arts - or the lack of it - influence you, then and now? Do children you know experience art in school now? What about outside school? Is important is it for all Oregon students to be able access the arts? Why? Is it possible? How?