Monday, August 10, 2009

Where Will The Creatives Go When The Arts Classes Are Gone?

I didn't go to school to do anything creative. I thought for a while I'd go to medical school but ended up not really connecting with my bio classes. So I switched to Journalism. It was an easy choice since it seemed like the "grown up answer" to being "a writer", which is what I really wanted to be. Truthfully, I had some classes in the journalism school that I liked but I was always being yelled at for putting in my two cents on every story. My elective classes were what really made my college experience amazing.
I took ballet. Beginners ballet started at 8AM to discourage girls from taking it "just for fun". They wanted serious dancers only and while I ended up there hungover more than once, I loved the classes so much that I never missed even one class. I also befriended the dancers in the high level courses and though I never made it anywhere with dance, I always look back on that short time where I was remotely graceful as a great time in my life.
I also took creative writing classes. In fact, I took every single creative writing class that the school offered and when I ran out, I designed my own classes under the watchful eye of my favorite writing teacher.
The point of all this?
I had choices to take art and dance. I'm worried with colleges cutting arts, theater, and dance that students will have less choices to try out creative classes. The New York Times reported again today that entire arts programs are disappearing from college campuses. While students that intend to be artists (and know it early enough to apply to art school) will not be as affected, what about the people going to school for journalism that have creative leanings? What about the accounting major that might want to get a minor in fine art?
As a result of my art classes (elective), I developed an appreciation for images and words together that led me to the advertising world. I would never have chosen that field on my own. My creative electives were absolutely instrumental in my career development.
And what did ballet bring me? I am as ungraceful as ever but I met some really fun people, learned enough steps that I can watch ballets without being bored, and have a photo of myself in my dance outfit that I love. Well worth the 3 college dance classes that I took.


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