Tennessee students need fine arts programs in their schools

Tennessee schools need art programs. Offering arts programs in K-12 provides many positive outcomes. First, art programs help children through self-expression and self-confidence. They strengthen cultural understanding, communication, identity and, for primary age specifically, also recognition. Art programs help with motivation and teach children to embrace and grow after failure. Contrary to what is commonly seen in STEM-focused subjects, learning from failure in a creative field tends to be more productive.

Students in the West Valley High School arts program work on their project during the 2022 Dogwoods Arts Chalk Walk in Market Square on April 2.

Although Tennessee has established academic standards for fine arts education, the guidelines the state follows date back to 1994. However, the issue of support for arts programs goes beyond regulation. Many see art programs as “less productive” than STEM. But when we look at the results that creative programs have on students, it’s extremely evident how beneficial they are to children in their emotional, personal and academic growth.

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