I was shocked to read of the Hall County School System’s decision to fund a meat processing plant for their students given that the arts continue to disappear in Hall County Schools. No orchestra or symphony in the middle or high schools, now no art classes. Perhaps I am just jaded, but given the two professional grade baseball and football fields (complete with Jumbotrons) at North Hall, I can assume the only reason band class still exists is to support football games.
The truth is, the chances of our students becoming professional football players is .00075%. The chances of our students becoming meat processors, while far higher than the NFL, is still likely in the single digits. Art increases a student’s emotional intelligence and increases their critical thinking skills, which in turn aids in their success in all classes. And the opportunity to enjoy their art for the rest of their life hovers near 100%. And while it won’t make a million dollars a year for the school (it won’t cost 8 or 9 million either), if our goal is to make well-rounded, successful, engaged, and thoughtful citizens -- art for the sake of art is just as important as a means to that end goal.