‘I Felt Like I Was Part of Something Beautiful’

My Kick | Mariah Shields

Mariah is a recent graduate of Truman State University who loves Spain, literature, film, concerts and overanalyzing almost every aspect of life, including writing this bio. Follow Mariah @MariahShields or at mariahshields.com.

It’s no secret that arts education plays second fiddle to core subjects of math, science, and writing. Unfortunately, arts education classes are continually being downsized or even cut altogether. Don’t get me wrong, core subjects are important.


"That was a really important time in my life." (Courtesy Mariah Shields)

However, learning these skills should not come at the expense of arts education. Whether it be music, theater, dance, art or other creative outlets, students can learn invaluable skills such as creativity, discipline, self- motivation, and critical thinking.

I was heavily involved in band and winter guard in secondary school. I do not actively participate in either right now, but these programs were invaluable and absolutely shaped the person I am today. I went from a shy and timid girl to a confident and self-assured woman, while gaining some of the best friends of my life.

It’s a tough world out there with decreasing budgets and increasing emphasis on standardized test scores. However, denying children adequate experiences in arts education is a disservice to them as students and as well-rounded individuals.

Our future leaders learn innovation and creative skills through these programs to tackle unique problems in a highly-competitive world. And for those still worried about test scores, students involved with arts education report higher scores and better school attendance than those who are not.

Take Action!

Is this your kick? You can take action.

To get involved, write to your representatives to show your support for arts education. The Americans for the Arts Action Fund provides a guide to the latest legislative issues concerning the arts and ways to voice your support for the arts.

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‘I Felt Like I Was Part of Something Beautiful’

Katherine Peach

Katherine is a freelance journalist and digital media editor based in Santa Monica, Calif. She can be found tasting microdistillery gin crafted in Washington State, balancing eagle pose at sustainable yoga retreats, or researching women’s entrepreneurship in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Her work has appeared with LAist.com, Revere Magazine, Whole Life Times, SeekRetreat.com, and The Santa Monica Mirror. She also teachers writers how to embrace productivity on Skillshare. Follow: @ktpeaches.

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