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Why the Arts?
THE ARTS AND JOBS

ECONOMY

In my own philanthropy and business endeavors, I have seen the critical role that the arts play in stimulating creativity and in developing vital communities….the arts have a crucial impact on our economy and are an important catalyst for learning, discovery, and achievement in our country.

–Paul G. Allen, Co-Founder, Microsoft

CULTURE

A broad education in the arts helps give children a better understanding of their world…We need students who are culturally literate as well as math and science literate.

–Paul Ostergard, Vice President, Citicorp

JOBS

GE hires a lot of engineers. We want young people who can do more than add up a string of numbers and write a coherent sentence. They must be able to solve problems, communicate ideas and be sensitive to the world around them. Participation in the arts is one of the best ways to develop these abilities.

– Clifford V. Smith, President of the General Electric Foundation

THE ARTS AND MONEY

$48 Billion+
in earned income

Source: 2014 Otis Report of the Creative Economy

 

ENTERTAINMENT
PUBLISHING
FASHION

 

1,477,100
(Direct, Indirect, and Induced)

Nearly 1 of 10
694,900 direct jobs

YOU CAN LEARN FROM THE ARTS

Creativity

​Being able to think on your feet, approach tasks from different perspectives and think ‘outside of the box’ will distinguish your child from others. In an arts program, your child will be asked to recite a monologue in 6 different ways, create a painting that represents a memory, or compose a new rhythm to enhance a piece of music. If children have practice thinking creatively, it will come naturally to them now and in their future career.

Confidence

The skills developed through theater, not only train you how to convincingly deliver a message, but also build the confidence you need to take command of the stage. Theater training gives children practice stepping out of their comfort zone and allows them to make mistakes and learn from them in rehearsal. This process gives children the confidence to perform in front of large audiences.

Problem Solving

Artistic creations are born through the solving of problems. How do I turn this clay into a sculpture? How do I portray a particular emotion through dance? How will my character react in this situation? Without even realizing it kids that participate in the arts are consistently being challenged to solve problems. All this practice problem solving develops children’s skills in reasoning and understanding. This will help develop important problem-solving skills necessary for success in any career.

Perseverance

When a child picks up a violin for the first time, she/he knows that playing Bach right away is not an option; however, when that child practices, learns the skills and techniques and doesn’t give up, that Bach concerto is that much closer. In an increasingly competitive world, where people are being asked to continually develop new skills, perseverance is essential to achieving success.

Focus

The ability to focus is a key skill developed through ensemble work. Keeping a balance between listening and contributing involves a great deal of concentration and focus. It requires each participant to not only think about their role, but how their role contributes to the big picture of what is being created. Recent research has shown that participation in the arts improves children’s abilities to concentrate and focus in other aspects of their lives.

Non-Verbal Communication

Through experiences in theater and dance education, children learn to breakdown the mechanics of body language. They experience different ways of moving and how those movements communicate different emotions. They are then coached in performance skills to ensure they are portraying their character effectively to the audience.

Receiving Constructive Feedback

Receiving constructive feedback about a performance or visual art piece is a regular part of any arts instruction. Children learn that feedback is part of learning and it is not something to be offended by or to be taken personally. It is something helpful. The goal is the improvement of skills and evaluation is incorporated at every step of the process. Each arts discipline has built in parameters to ensure that critique is a valuable experience and greatly contributes to the success of the final piece.

Collaboration

Most arts disciplines are collaborative in nature. Through the arts, children practice working together, sharing responsibility, and compromising with others to accomplish a common goal. When a child has a part to play in a music ensemble, or a theater or dance production, they begin to understand that their contribution is necessary for the success of the group. Through these experiences children gain confidence and start to learn that their contributions have value even if they don’t have the biggest role.

Dedication

When kids get to practice following through with artistic endeavors that result in a finished product or performance, they learn to associate dedication with a feeling of accomplishment. They practice developing healthy work habits of being on time for rehearsals and performances, respecting the contributions of others, and putting effort into the success of the final piece. In the performing arts, the reward for dedication is the warm feeling of an audience’s applause that comes rushing over you, making all your efforts worthwhile.

Accountability

​When children practice creating something collaboratively they get used to the idea that their actions affect other people. They learn that when they are not prepared or on-time, that other people suffer. Through the arts, children also learn that it is important to admit that you made a mistake and take responsibility for it. Because mistakes are a regular part of the process of learning in the arts, children begin to see that mistakes happen. We acknowledge them, learn from them and move on.

Excerts from:
Top 10 skills children learn from the arts
The Washington Post
By: Valerie Strauss January 22, 2013

Additional Skills

Performing Arts develop personal skills

Practicing the performing arts teach students so many things! There are the obvious skills like creativity that get explored by doing a play. But there are many many other. By working with a bunch of other people to bring something to life, students learn focus, discipline, teamwork, delegation, and leadership. By having to practice something until it’s ready to be performed, students learn how to stay dedicated to something until it’s perfect. And with live shows, something always goes wrong, so students learn how to problem solve quickly and effectively.

Performing Arts helps us relate to each other

When we think of Hollywood, we often think of the actors, but there are so many other ways someone can work in the entertainment industry. And jobs available to people working in the entertainment industry are at the highest levels they’ve ever been. Hollywood provides around 150,000 jobs in LA County–and with companies like YouTube, Amazon, and other digital platforms growing like crazy, the number of jobs out there will keep on getting higher.

Of course there are actors and directors, but not everyone is going to be a Denzel Washington or an Anton Fuqua. And that’s okay!! Because there are thousands and thousands of high-paying, union jobs available that provide insurance, travel, and amazing work experiences.

Working in the performing arts doesn’t just teach students how to sing and dance. Singing, dancing, and acting are just a tiny part of it! Being involved in the performing arts help students get to learn about all the parts of the entertainment industry. This knowledge will help them look for meaningful jobs and be able to relate to the people who are looking to hire them.

Jobs in the entertainment industry range from Writer to Construction Lead, Hair and Makeup Artist to Recruiter, Camera Operator to Accountant, Location Manager to Attorney. And about a million roles in between.

Performing Arts Skills Lead to Jobs

It’s easy to look at a movie or TV show and think “that’s not my life, why should I watch that!” But stories that seem foreign at first are really about the universal struggles we all go through.

I think about my favorite musicals and I realize that one of the reasons I like them so much is because they describe the very real struggles that go on in neighborhoods like South LA.

Oliver! Is about a young man who ran away from his foster home because the system was abusive to him. He joins a gang because the gang is the only thing that provides safety and stability. He doesn’t want to commit crimes, but he’s not sure what else to do.

The King and I is about gentrification–something that this neighborhood is dealing with. In the play, a young American woman goes to a new country and tries to change them to be more like her. But she ultimately realizes how important culture is and how we should do our best to protect it.

And we have new plays like In The Heights, which is about a young Latino woman who is trying to figure out who she is. When she goes off to college, she struggles, wondering if she shouldn’t have left home.

These stories give us a way to express what’s going on right here in our neighborhoods, our lives, and our souls.

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