Why the City Needs Arts Programming
Over the last few decades, there has been general evidence proving student involvement with the arts greatly impacts student academic performance in all areas of life. It has been proven that the fine arts play such a significant role in the cognitive and socio-emotional development of children and teenagers. According to a study from the University of Maryland (2013), students of the arts are 20% less likely to experience suspension than their peers who are not enrolled in the arts; are significantly more optimistic about their chances to attend college than non-arts students; and overall, less likely to engage in delinquent behaviors. As adults, these individuals are more than 55% likely to have attended post-secondary school; chances which increase with each additional year of arts schooling and are 26% less likely to be arrested; chances which further decrease with each additional year of arts education
Yet, there is a constant decline of funding towards the arts in schools. There is an overwhelming lack of programming in Baltimore City for community members, young and old, to engage in healthy creative outlets. Communities in Baltimore identified as “Healthy neighborhoods have art/dance studios, art supply stores, and much greater access to resources than those of low-income communities even with years of research prove that arts education and programming is underfunded, especially in public education systems that service low-income communities. Baltimore has three Arts & Entertainment Districts and is considered to have the largest National Heritage Area in the country, and none of these are in low-income community. Under-funded public schools do not have adequate funding for arts education, and the need for arts education is not being met by community centers or other community-based initiatives.
Organizations like TAP Inc. are necessary to reach untouched communities in Baltimore to expose youth to the arts. Our impact can influence great outcomes in their futures as students and professionals.
For more information, read Baltimore Neighborhood Indicators Alliance; Vital Signs 15 Spring 2017