When budgets are cut in schools and communities, the first thing that takes a hit is the performing arts. While singing, dancing, and playing instruments might seem like a colossal waste of time to community leaders, they are some of the most important activities that you can have. If you are still on the fence, here are some reasons you should lend your support in your area.
Performing arts are central to building a cohesive community. An area that has a vibrant community of music, dance, and drama allows kids to partake in things that are not just pop culture. According to researchers at the University of Pennsylvania, communities that embrace the arts have higher child welfare, lower poverty, and higher civic engagement.
Cultivating Creative Industries
Creativity is an industry, and without performing arts, that industry cannot exist. In an analysis by Dun and Bradstreet, around 756,700 businesses in the United States are involved in the creation and distribution of art. These businesses employ nearly three million people, representing approximately 2.17 percent of the workforce and 4.14 percent of all businesses. These businesses include museums, films, theaters, and symphonies.
Local organizations spend money within their community and are considered the cornerstones. It is estimated that consumers spend approximately $166 billion annually visiting museums, theaters, movies, and musical performances. These companies generate tax revenues of nearly $30 billion a year.
Local Merchants Benefit
When your communities have events like ballets, concerts, and plays, local merchants also benefit. Patrons spend an average of $27 on things like parking, babysitting, and meals the night of the event. If the attendees are non-local, meaning they live outside the area, they are likely to spend twice as much during their visit. This is a good thing for the local community.
There is truth in the saying that those who participate in a performing arts program in school have better grades. Schools that ensure a rich program have students with higher GPAs and lower dropout rates. Their students learn memory skills and develop better attention skills, making them perform better at math and science.
This also translates into better SAT scores. Students who participate in school-based programs during their four-year high school career average 100 points higher on their SAT. This applies to all areas of the test: math, reading, and writing.
Even though the performing arts programs are usually first on the chopping block, having experience in these activities is important to employers. They want employees who can come up with creative solutions to problems, and having a degree in college arts can be essential. Even if the employee doesn’t hold a degree, things like music, drawing, dance, and creative writing are skills that employers are interested in.
When you take away music, drama, and drawing to focus solely on reading and writing, kids aren’t going to have anything to read and write about.