Are Arts Prioritized Over Athletics?
By Dani Posin, Staff Writer
Whether it be playing, watching, or coaching, according to ESPN, 61% of boys and 34% of girls say that sports play significant roles in their lives.
In the Los Angeles area, the arts are not always given the same attention. According to the LA Times, in the L.A. Unified School District, “eight out of every ten elementary schools don’t have the programs needed to meet state requirements.” At Normandie Elementary School in Los Angeles, only a quarter of the students take an art class and as little as sixty students per grade take music classes and learn how to play instruments.
This trend continues into high school. “In the last five years, funding for arts education at L.A. Unified has dropped from a budgeted high of $78.6 million to $18.6 million,” says Tami Abdollah, from the Southern California Public Radio.
Some students, like Junior Stephanie Ahn, have noticed that athletics are prioritized over the arts here at Notre Dame. She said, “I think the arts are more important even though I play basketball. They help with the development of other skills and qualities. I’ve noticed that the school play and art shows aren’t really as amped up and popular as football or basketball games.”
George Heymont, an arts writer for the Huffington Post, believes if a portion of the athletic funding should be reserved for the arts, this issue would subside.
“Sports programs often produce extremely competitive students who may peak early in life, while arts programs often produce extremely creative students whose critical thinking skills and ability to adapt to new situations deepen as they mature,” said Heymont.
However, while one may often be prioritized over the other, it’s hard to deny that both are vital to the growth and development of children and young adults, even if they work to improve different things.