Library Diva's Guide to Volunteering…

{March 9, 2011}   “cutting” art…

Budget cuts are always looming but I didn’t really realize how broad it stretched until I noticed on our art display wall the skimpy amount of elementary school artwork that we have on display in our library lobby.

Usually it’s hustle and bustle of art teachers in their long hippy skirts and half glasses, hair a tousled, pens sticking out of messy buns, hammers tapping with paint marked hands and fingers and art clips and picks hanging out of mouths as the chatter of this and that fill the lobby. This year it came and went without notice. One day it was empty, the next day there was some art up but not the usual floor to ceiling amount. I wondered when they’d come back to finish…it’s been 2 weeks and still nothing.

I took a few minutes to walk around and look at the art. I love kid’s art work. So creative and fresh and colorful. Then, I noticed a small disclaimer almost…

“There is less art, because the district has been forced to cut art out of the program from the year round curriculum to parts of the year for some students, hopefully things will change and all children can experience art in the elementary schools once again.”.

Wow. That’s a huge bummer. This art was beautiful. What a great outlet for children who don’t excel or struggle, or don’t have sports…Now, I’m all for the basic 3 “R’s” don’t get me wrong, but if I didn’t have my art when I was a little diva, I don’t know what I would have done. To escape into a drawing, color, clay, paint, yarn and other hands on things is amazing.

The world is a beautiful place and we constantly need to keep cultivating that beauty by letting little hands and little minds experience it to the fullest. The creative mind is a muscle that must be exercised just as much as the body.

Art’s in a tough spot now, but it will survive, it must.



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