WHY DO THE ARTS MATTER?

KATIE HIRV, KNIGHT WIRE CO-MANAGER

The coronavirus pandemic has completely changed life as we know it. From academics to the arts, every aspect of life has been changed in some way. However, some aspects of the art field have flourished in this time of COVID-19. 

Try and imagine a world without art. No, I’m not just talking about paintings. I’m talking about music, graphic designs you like on Instagram, your favorite movie, the well-designed stickers on your HydroFlask…the world would be blank without the arts.

Far too often, we see students, both elementary and college-age students, being steered away from the arts. They are told there’s no money in the arts, or they won’t have jobs upon graduating. This is not the case at all.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the number of jobs available for graphic designers in 2019 was 281,500. Although there is a predicted 4% decline in jobs available based on the job outlook predicted by the BLS, there are still a plethora of jobs available. Students can go into business for themselves or even work in similar fields, such as print layout design or web design. 

This is just one example of finding a job in the arts. Rather than being steered away from their passions, why on earth aren’t we encouraging students to follow their passions? 

RELATED ARTICLE: EFFECTS OF MUSIC AND MENTAL HEALTH

During the early months of the pandemic, how much time did you spend on Netflix or Hulu? Did you enjoy the newest Animal Crossing game when it was released? What about watching Hamilton on Disney Plus when it was released?

Designers, actors, musicians…all of these people made it possible for you. You might never meet these people, but each of these had profound impacts on how many of our daily lives were structured throughout quarantine. 

Spend time on TikTok or YouTube? You mostly likely ran across content creators. Guess what? They’re considered artists as well. Being able to successfully create, produce and share videos that can go viral? It’s an art form.

We need the arts.

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