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Lesson Plans

Re: Art & $ & Competition

[ Thread ][ Subject ][ Author ][ Date ]
Michelle H. Harrell (mmhar)
Sat, 31 Oct 1998 09:29:45 PST

I've enjoyed sitting back and listening to the discussion on NEA with
Mike and all. Joy's comment about art and sports brought up an
interesting topic.

> Seems to me there is an outrageously disproportionate amount of
>money that goes to sports. I'm just waiting for the day when we BEGIN
>to give equal weight to art!

Last year, our baseball coach and I got into a friendly debate about the
amount of money that goes into school sports compared to all of the
arts. It's almost sickening how much money and attention is given to
sports while most art programs are scrapping to get money for the
crudest of supplies. His arguements were that schools build their
identity through their sports programs and the spirit of competition
(and receive a healthy revenue from those that attend the games). He
also brought up that an athletic scholarship would be almost the only
way many students from our low income area would ever attend college.

Other than contests and art shows, there doesn't seem to be many
opportunities for competition in art. I recently heard two teachers
present "Art Olympics" which their students do every year here in NC. It
sounds like healthy competition between middle school art clubs where
everyone is a winner. I'm going to go this year as an observer before I
recruit my students.

I think the way our individual schools distribute money between sports
programs, academics, and the arts is a reflection of our society.
How is the situation in your schools? Is sports given the spotlight
while art is given the backseat? How can we give art the COMPETITIVE
edge to draw students to the program? Or do we really want to
incorporate competition into art? What's your opinion?

Michelle H. Harrell
North Garner Middle School
Garner, North Carolina

* ~ "You can never do too much drawing."
\_/ -Tintoretto

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