While art is important all year long, March has been designated Youth Art Month, in recognition of the impact of art education on the lives of our nation’s youth. The arts allow elementary, middle, and high school students an avenue to express themselves, learn, and grow with a creative and innovative mindset. Even as some school systems have reduced art education in the face of budgetary constraints, others have moved their STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) initiatives to full STEAM to capture the essential contributions of art and creativity to problem-solving and design for the future. Especially as the world turns topsy-turvy this month with the many changes of coronavirus precautions, art is essential to our youth.
- Art stands as a priority within our education system because of its correlation to a higher sense of academic achievement and social development. Being a great team member and good communicator, as well as learning organizational skills, social skills and resilience, are all things that can be taught when art is in the picture. DayDream Education’s How Can the Arts Improve Academic Performance? outlines these benefits.
- Art creates a sense of community, elevates self-expression and engagement, and reduces acts of poor behavior. KQED’s article, What Happens to Student Behavior When Schools Prioritize Art, tells the story of a failing school’s success when a new principal invested his trust in art to change the school’s direction.
- President Eisenhower has been quoted as saying, “Art is a universal language and through it each nation makes its own unique contribution to the culture of mankind.” Art, as a universal language, gives students a glimpse into another culture’s history, perspectives, and values. Art is an educational tool that shapes generations of students by opening minds and broadening a sense of empathy for people who have different backgrounds than their own. Cultural Awareness International celebrates The Power of Art.
- Art is good for the soul, says NPR in Making Art is Good for your Health. Here’s how to Start a Habit. While physically distant during this worldwide phenomenon, we encourage youth (and those young and creative at heart!) to take part in online art opportunities to get in touch with their creative sides and connect with others. Some ideas include LUNCH DOODLES with Mo Willems!, Storyline Online, Dancing Alone Together, Skill Share, and virtual visits to artful ideas and the best museums all over the world. Keep an eye on our social media for new ideas and please share your ideas and favorites there!
In the spirit of Youth Art Month, POBA honors our three youngest creative legacies, who undoubtedly had art education, mentors, and opportunities that shaped their creative output and the enduring contributions presented on our site. Please visit the pages of Blake Van Hoof Packard (1994-2010), Daryl Rosen (1951-1973), and POBA’s inspiration, Jamie Bernard (1987-2010) for a window into youthful creative legacies.