Re-Imagining the Importance of the Arts

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The CLA looks at the value of the arts, by the numbers.

The Cultural Learning Alliance (CLA) are a collective voice that work to ensure that all children have access to culture and the arts. CLA recently produced the Imagine Nations report to examine and better understand the value that arts education has in society.

One of the ways to make the case for the arts is to deploy the arguments and evidence in this document. They show that the arts and culture are not an add-on, or a nice-to-have, but are part of the fabric of our society, and that young people have a right to experience the best, and to be given the opportunity to make their own contribution to the continual reshaping of our civilization.
— Imagine Nations (2017)

The report broke down arts education into four sections: the social value of arts, the educational value of arts, the economic value of arts, and the personal value of arts. For example, economically, arts education enhances opportunities for young people to develop communication skills and critical thinking.

Some important findings of the Imagine Nations report include

  • Participation in structured arts activities can increase cognitive abilities by 17%.
  • Students from low-income families who take part in arts activities at school are three times more likely to get a degree.
  • Employability of students who study arts subjects is higher and they are more likely to stay in employment.
  • Students from low-income families who engage in the arts at school are 20% more likely to vote as young adults.
  • People who take part in the arts are 38% more likely to report good health.

But with arts funding in schools being cut, and arts degrees losing applicants at a rapid rate--what does this mean for higher education, and society?

There's a host of other interesting information in the report;  read the full report here

by Amy Hardman