Across the United States, art lovers have fought against the reduction in art programs and funding as STEM continues to dominate the spotlight of education. But just art programs continue to decrease, our youth depression, anxiety, and suicide rates continue to grow.
We need art in order to combat the negativity and darkness within our society. Americans should fight for more art programs for youth because of the many benefits they serve.
For youth, art can act as an outlet when they a feeling all of the feels. No matter whether one is ecstatic, sad, depressed, angry, or bored, art is a way to get those feelings out of your mind and onto a paper. It allows one to process what they are feeling, instead of hanging onto it and internalizing it, which can be unproductive and even dangerous.
Art is also a form of expression, and teenagers love to be able to express themselves. Youth need to feel as though they are a part of a community, while still feeling like individuals.
Give a teenager pen, paper, pencils, colors, glue, or materials, and ask them to do something unique. I guarantee you that they will create something that is special to who they are as a person, and it will make them feel as though they have identified in some way, shape or form.
Take a look at your local high schools and community centers. Do they have art programs? If not, we need to fight hard to make these programs exist. If they do already exist, make sure you are doing what you can to support them, because if we let art die in the communities where youth exist, then there will be a lot less color in this world.