By fostering critical thinking and imagination, the arts and arts education prepare our children to meet the workforce demands of the 21st century. The following points can be used as conversation starters with friends, colleagues, and policy-makers. Start the conversation today!
• Business leaders concur that arts education is a critical component of preparing students to be productive contributors to the U.S. workforce. (Ready to Innovate, The Conference Board)
• The most desirable, high-wage jobs require employees who possess creativity and higher order problem-solving and communications skills. (Arts & the Economy, The National Governors Association)
• Arts education can help address the current shortage of creative workers in the U.S. Approximately 85 percent of business leaders say they can’t find enough job applicants with creativity and innovation skills. However, Ohio has a built-in talent pool of young artists looking for work. According to U.S. News & World Report, Ohio is home to four of the 60 best fine arts colleges in the nation. (Ready to Innovate, The Conference Board)
• Youth who participate in the arts are more likely to excel academically and less likely to drop out of school compared to students who have little to no involvement in the arts. Data from a 2008 study shows that students who took four years of arts and music classes while in high school scored 85 points higher on the critical reading and mathematics portion of the SAT, and 52 points higher on the writing portion than students who took only one-half year or less of arts and music classes. (Critical Evidence: How the Arts Benefit Student Achievement, The College Board)
• Ohioans are committed to arts education. In the online Ohio Statewide Arts & Culture Survey, conducted by the OAC in early 2010, 67 percent of more than 5, 700 Ohio residents said the most important thing state government should do to meet citizens’ cultural needs is help ensure arts education for all students.
Sources for the Talking Points can be found at: www.OhioCitizenForTheArts.org Resources, State Funding for the Arts, Talking Points.