by Karen LaShelle, Executive and Artistic Director
1. Simply go be a part of the arts community! By going to an art gallery, attending a play or concert or doing any other cultural activity, you are helping to support our arts community at large, and that will affect how much we as a community value the arts. Arts Education is just one component of an entire ecosystem of an appreciation and understanding of how the arts are an important part of our community. If we as a community value the arts we are more likely to make sure that the arts are a part of our education system.
2. Similarly, participate in arts education for adults. Arts education is not just for kids! Most communities have continuing education opportunities in the arts and it is never too late to learn more about yourself and your skills through an acting class, a ceramics workshop or a music lesson!
3. Think about how the arts have affected you throughout your life and then tell people about it. I am sure that if each of us was to think back to our childhood, our experiences with the arts are a part of our memories. Perhaps you remember a class field trip to see a ballet or a class project to build a diorama or an assignment to write a poem. These memories stick out because the arts are a really effective way of learning through which we incorporate many parts of our brain and often our entire bodies. Plus, they are fun! Learning doesn’t have to be painful.
4. Make a cash donation to a local arts group that provides arts education. Arts programs are often inexpensive to implement and a donation of even $50 can likely make a big impact.
5. Volunteer your time with an arts group to help deliver arts education programs, act as an usher for youth performances, or anything else an arts group might need to help them succeed.
6. Donate art supplies, costumes, books, instruments, and other supplies that arts education providers can use to provide arts instruction.
7. Write to your local, state and federal officials to let them know that you think the arts are important and that all young people deserve access to arts learning and experiences.
8. Contact your local newspapers to let them know that you value arts education. Tell them about the arts education programs happening in your community and ask them to help support arts education by covering stories about the impact these groups make.
9. Recognize how much art plays a part of your everyday life. Even if you do not consider yourself artistic or even a fan of the arts, the arts affect you. From the entertainment we consume, to the way we decorate our homes, to the way we plate the food we eat, to way we design our websites to the creative thinking we do to make everything happen!