Introduction to S.L.A.M.! Part 1: Art vs. Life by Daley Pedersen, Grade 11

The arts are important.

Art has been present with humanity since the first drawings on ancient rock walls. Art is in everything we see: television, movies, websites, clothing, food packaging, billboards, advertisements of all kinds. The list doesn’t stop there. It’s become so fundamentally ingrained in our culture that it’s become second nature, something we don’t have to think about, something that’s just there.

Imagine a world without the arts. Design. Color. Picture it. Gray all around, and not a drop of inspiration. Music is nonexistent. Shakespeare was never born. Products can’t be marketed. Clothing can’t be individual. Everyone’s hair looks the same. And worst of all, the Internet? YouTube? Facebook? Twitter? Totally gone. Someone had to design them. Art is a vital piece of human society.

So why is something so important being taken out of schools? Luckily, my school district has a great arts program. But some schools aren’t so fortunate.

Fundamentally, art class isn’t about making macaroni replicas of your cat. It’s not for first-graders to bring home something for Mom and Dad to put on the fridge. It’s not so kids can dress up like vegetables on stage. It teaches more than pretty pictures and how to use a crayon. It teaches valuable life skills. There are benefits that come with making art, that surpass having a good eye for color. You use your brain. You think better. You live better. Art is no less important as a life tool than Algebra and English. We use art every day. It teaches students to think logically and critically. To make decisions. To learn from our mistakes. Unfortunately, most people don’t realize this. And, despite how beneficial art is to learning and young minds, art classes are being cut in schools across the nation. We don’t need less art. We need more art.

There are two words that make us art students quiver in fear: Budget and Cuts. These two guys are roaming around the country, snatching paint right off the canvas. But you know what that means? Fight back! Advocate for arts education! Even if you can’t control the economy, you can control how much you want these classes to stay in our schools.

This is why our school has formed S.L.A.M.! We need to bring awareness to our communities of just how vital art is to our education and to our society. Awareness of art keeps art on our schedules. If more people realize how essential art is to learning and children’s development, more people will be reluctant to remove it from schools.

You need to know about the importance of art. Tell your friends. Tell your acquaintances. Tell everyone you know that the arts are mandatory in our schools. Take action with us. Keep the art for our students. Make a difference.

Grab your brushes. Grab your scripts. Grab your guitar. Grab your tap shoes.

We want you for the artist army.


Next Week: Introduction to S.L.A.M.!   Part 2


One thought on “Introduction to S.L.A.M.! Part 1: Art vs. Life by Daley Pedersen, Grade 11

  1. Congratulations Daley on your blog post and expressing yourself so articulately. It is so great that you’ve use your voice so positively. My approach is this: dwell on the positive aspects, the benefits of a quality arts education, communicating why the arts are essential. I try not to plant seeds around the negative.
    Thank you for using your voice to support a quality arts education for all students!


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