I know how important the arts are to children and to adults. Our state Arts organizations are funded by the national organization. Our NC Arts Association sends artists into schools so that children, even in rural areas like Hayesville, NC, can be taught and experience poetry or other arts by a professional writer, musician, or painter. How I would have enjoyed that as a child.
I wanted to be a writer but I never met a real writer -- someone who published their work. Although I had an english teacher who suggested I submit a poem to a magazine, that was as far as it went. I had no one to encourage my education in writing. We met with a music teacher every few weeks. Mrs. Perry went from one elementary school to another where she played piano and taught us songs. We had no school theater for those who wanted to become actors or screenwriters.
When I hear about the opportunities for children to express their artistic talent today, I am thrilled for them. Our local schools offer a chance to learn how to throw pots and the kids can be taught by a real potter. Poetry contests are held for students in NC whether in rural schools or city schools. All of these opportunities come from Arts funding to our schools. Our literary organization, NCWN-West often sponsors writing contests for students as well as adults. We are a non-profit and our parent organization, North Carolina Writers' Network, is partially funded by the NC Arts.
I urge everyone who reads this post to contact your representatives in Congress and demand they not cut funding for the Arts. Support the Endowment for the Arts. If our country becomes only about corporations and big business with no thought to those people who bring us the joys of music and art, books to read and plays to see, we will be a sad country indeed.