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Where Minds Matter

Arts are Critical to a Healthy Economy

The next time someone tells you that we should ignore the arts if we want a healthy economy, hand them the statistics of this UK study:

Official Statistics
Creative Industries Economic Estimates – January 2016

According to this study, creative industries in the UK are worth over 10 Million pounds or $14.4 Million U.S. per HOUR to their economy.  That’s a whopping 84.1 Billion pounds or $120.9 Billion U.S. per year!  If that’s what creative industries are worth to the U.K. imagine what they are worth here in the U.S….

U.K. Creative Industries report

U.K. Creative Industries report

The idea of encouraging our kids to learn more about science, math, engineering, and programming is important, but not to the exclusion of the arts.  A lot of kids will be more interested in all of those logic-side subjects, if we introduce them through the arts.  This way they may learn programming, and math to support their interest in the creative industries of music, theater, and art.

According to the National Association for Music Education:

Children who study a musical instrument are more likely to excel in all of their studies, work better in teams, have enhanced critical thinking skills, stay in school, and pursue further education; and schools with music programs have an estimated 90.2% graduation rate and 93.9% attendance rate compared to schools without music education, which average 72.9% graduation and 84.9% attendance.

  • Sources: The National Association for Music Education. “Music Makes the Grade.” The National Association for Music Education. Accessed February 24, 2015.
  • Arte Music Academy. “Statistical benefits of music in education.” Statistical-Benefits-Of-Music-In-Education. Accessed July 17, 2014.

In the 1970s I was involved with alternative high school learning plans, and both my children went to a conservatory middle school/high school 30 years later. In both cases, I saw kids that would have dropped out of a standard “Common Core” school, who both excelled and thrived in a program that was arts-centric. In the case of the program that was being tested in my high school, we were surprised to find the marginal students not only excelled in the arts program, they also did astonishing work in physics and math because of their fascination with music. A large percentage of those kids would never have graduated without the arts driving their curiosity.

For the health of our kids, our schools, and our economy, fight to keep the arts alive in your school.


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