The Benefits of Art and Art Education

We often mention the fact that we give back 5% of all sales to supporting art education in underserved communities, however you may not know exactly why this is our mission. Today, we want to dive deeper into this issue and why we do what we do.

As a former teacher and student of the arts, I have seen the great impact that art education can have on the development and engagement of students in school. Performance in the art classroom is not as testable and quantifiable as subjects like math and science and is therefore not seen as a core subject in the education program. Because of this, when a school must cut expenses, the art program is often one of the first to go. This week, I wanted to take the opportunity to discuss my experience in the art classroom and why I believe that creating more opportunity for students of all walks of life to learn from and enjoy the arts is so important.

Talking about natural dying and weaving with a 4th grade art class. Students learned about different fibers and weaving techniques.

Students had an opportunity to try their hand at their own fiber art! Friendship bracelets made from my recycled weaving materials.

I have had the privilege of growing up with the arts—my mother is an artist, I was able to take art class from age 3 to age 22, and I have always been encouraged to pursue my creative passions. I understand that this is not the case for many people and my hope is to create opportunity for more people to be able to experience the arts in ways that I have been fortunate enough to learn from and benefit.

In my research and experience, I have seen how the arts can enhance a student’s education. From a young age, an education in art can help with very important developmental skills. Learning to use safety scissors and hold a pencil often begin with an art project. Following lines, cutting shapes and drawing teach important fine motor skills that are necessary in early childhood education so that the student can be prepared to complete tasks like writing and projects easily later in their education.

Creating work from the imagination can also help students develop their language and communication skills. Describing their thinking behind a creation is an important part of a child understanding how to express themselves and their ideas. In addition to expression, creating art also allows a child to do some creative problem solving. Thinking beyond set guidelines and expectations encourages children to pursue deeper, more challenging ways of problem solving and thought.

Students working on a mural project featuring prominent Philadelphia landmarks.

Students working on their mural project.

Recycled shoe boxes were transformed into dioramas that taught the students about space and how to structure a landscape.

Experience in the arts later on in education only builds on these skill sets. Having a platform or a medium to express points of view, other than through traditional writing means allows more students to be able to participate in this kind of idea sharing. We all know that there are all kinds of learners: visual, auditory and so on, so it only makes sense that the arts allow for more people to participate and learn in different ways.

Unfortunately, the arts are not widely accessible to all people from all walks of life. This lack of accessibility contributes to continuation of inequalities and lack of opportunities for certain populations within our communities. We recognize that there are very real circumstances that result from these inequalities and it is our goal to work to reverse some of these disparities so that all people in all communities can have an equal opportunity in accessing and pursuing not only education but also careers in the arts. We continue to volunteer and donate to programs that give underserved communities more access to the arts and we hope someday to provide more people with the opportunity to pursue their passion for the arts.

We believe that art is something that only gets better when more people with diverse perspectives contribute their ideas, so we work each and every day to expand access and encourage a more widespread support of artists.

More places to learn about our efforts:

https://cultivations.com/blog/how-we-give-back/

https://cultivations.com/our-story/

 

 

 

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