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"Art does not solve problems, but makes us aware of their existence," sculptor Magdalena Abakanowicz has said.
Arts education, on the other hand, does solve problems.
Years of research show that it's closely linked to almost everything that we as a nation say we want for our children and demand from our schools: academic achievement, social and emotional development, civic engagement, and equitable opportunity.
Involvement in the arts is associated with gains in math, reading, cognitive ability, critical thinking, and verbal skill.
Arts learning can also improve motivation, concentration, confidence, and teamwork.
A 2005 report by the Rand Corporation about the visual arts argues that the intrinsic pleasures and stimulation of the art experience do more than sweeten an individual's life -- according to the report, they "can connect people more deeply to the world and open them to new ways of seeing,"
When you think about the purposes of education, there are three, "We're preparing kids for jobs. We're preparing them to be citizens. And we're teaching them to be human beings who can enjoy the deeper forms of beauty. The third is as important as the other two."
FRAN SMITH IS A CONTRIBUTING EDITOR FOR EDUTOPIA.