Funding arts programs is vital to communities

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

In 2009, a budget cut was proposed to the already underfunded Massachusetts arts programs. Because the Common Core doesn’t test for art knowledge, arts programs were deemed to be unnecessary. These budget cuts were never put into place, but many arts programs in public schools remain underfunded and sub-par.

This leaves many children with nowhere to turn to if they want to pursue the arts, and many programs that are available are private and expensive. This is where the “superheroes” — public arts programs — save the day. Public arts programs are indescribably important to communities. When public schools cannot put money toward the arts, a gap is created — those who can afford it are able to enter into the private programs, and those who cannot don’t have any other opinions.

Public arts programs are changing that by offering cheap or free programs. I personally know the importance of these programs because I’ve been in one for four years, and it’s changed my life. I’ve figured out who I am and what I want to do because of these programs.

They are more important than you could ever imagine. Now, these kinds of programs are under attack. Just last year, the Trump administration proposed a budget that would decimate the funding for public arts programs. We cannot allow this to happen.

Arts programs are one of the most valuable things a community has, and we cannot allow them to be taken from us. Most of the programs I know are running on a threadbare budget (many of those who run them are not paid a living wage), yet they continue to give their time to this cause.

It’s time for us to pick up the slack. It’s time for us to fund arts programs and make sure they’re available for anyone, forever.

Micah Goldstein