Save the arts
As I was sitting, waiting for the Hillsboro High School’s sold-out performance of “Beauty and the Beast” to begin Friday, I noticed that there were a lot of young children in the audience. It wasn’t really surprising — “Beauty and the Beast” is a fairytale, perfect for a young audience.
I noticed it because I hope some of the children in the audience were inspired to give acting a try when they’re older, to become the next generation of actors, singers, and dancers.
Unfortunately, seniors like Dylan Delk, Hayley Pankratz, Jordan Riggs, and Matthew Wiebe won’t be available to perform next November. Every year new students have to overcome nerves, get on stage, and show the audience what they can do.
That is, if there are still musicals in which to perform.
Schools face tremendous pressure on two fronts — they’re expected to constantly improve standardized test scores in subjects including reading and math and they have to do it with limited budgets. Those are important goals, but too often fine arts get pushed to the side.
Just this year USD 410 approved a budget that only included funding for one musical or play instead of both. Thankfully the district was able to restore funding for both. But it showed the precarious position the fine arts occupy, even in as artistic a district as USD 410.
Fine arts shouldn’t be a dying art but one school districts continue to support.