Art is Essential

My entire life has been devoted to supporting and promoting the arts. This month, I am humbly asking you to help my efforts!

As we navigate uncharted territory, and talk about what is essential and not, the arts are being dismissed. In Congress, Republicans scoffed that the Democrats sought financial support for the National Endowment for the Arts and The Kennedy Center. Here’s some facts about why supporting these arts education organizations are crucial:

  • Students with high arts participation and low socioeconomic status have a 4 percent dropout rate—five times lower than their low socioeconomic status peers.
  • Low-income students who are highly engaged in the arts are twice as likely to graduate college as their peers with no arts education.
  • 72 percent of business leaders say that creativity is the number one skill they are seeking when hiring. (facts via Americans for the Arts)

Having access to the arts is VITAL AND ESSENTIAL for our children, especially those in under-represented situations. As the parents of these kiddos lose their jobs from the fallout of this virus, it’s more important than ever that the arts are integrated into schools, daycares, child centers, libraries and more. It ensures creative thinking, academic success, and more likelihood to finish school and become hire-able.

How do you do that?

BY SUPPORTING AND ADVOCATING FOR THE ARTS.

Whether it’s buying a ticket to a show, going to an art museum, or reading a book about Frida Kahlo to your kids, SUPPORT THE ARTS. Local arts organizations work at a community level to provide opportunities for all. Whether its free admission to a symphony, theatre outreach from a local troupe, or teaching artists visiting schools, they can’t do this work without funding at the organizational level.

I work for the Springfield Regional Arts Council. It’s a non-profit dedicated to the promotion and advocacy of the arts in the region. We did a survey a few years ago that showed that the arts in Springfield bring in 29 million dollars in revenue. We provide multiple free arts education opportunities to the at-risk kiddos mentioned above (it usually costs us about $40,000 at the bare minimum). We give artists exhibition opportunities and have sold over $32,000 in their artwork. We help offset THOUSANDS of dollars of operating costs for various arts organizations, including The Springfield Ballet, The Springfield Regional Opera, The Springfield Little Theatre, and The Springfield Symphony Orchestra, plus Springfield Sculpture Walk, Any Given Child Springfield, and the Men’s Chorus of the Ozarks. That’s the short list.

This month has been stressful. We’re all seeing the belt tighten and the uncertainty of what the future holds. As we stay locked up in our houses, everyone is talking about supporting essential business like restaurants. I’m begging you, PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE donate to one of the arts organizations below. $5 is amazing! $50 is better. $500 would make an impact! Without financial support RIGHT NOW, they will not be there when we get to finally leave our houses. Think about what you’ll miss on a personal level:

  • going to the movies (because who is supporting the creative writers, actors, filmmakers during this?)
  • seeing a musical that your child is in (who’s making the costumes? Where are the sets being built? Who is thinking up lighting and sound?)
  • strolling through downtown looking at public free art (it’s made free to you because arts organizations PAY ARTISTS to show you the work)
  • attend your favorite arts festival, like Artsfest on Walnut
  • get lost in a symphony or opera or concert performance (the performers won’t have time to practice if they have to get extra jobs to make ends meet!)
  • look at a new exhibit featuring art by your emerging artist friend (galleries will shut down)

It may not seem essential right now, because we are all worried about our health, food scarcity, and access to our basic needs. But trust me, when those needs are met, you’ll be wanting more. And the arts organizations can give that to you! Please consider supporting today, and sharing this urgent message!

DONATE TODAY to these non-profits:

Let me know if you help support any of the above. I’ll brag about you, shout from the rooftops, and mail you an SRAC sticker that you can use to show you support the arts!

Yours in creating,

Nicole

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