The CCSD Parent Information Network (PIN) hosted a panel of 12 students who discussed the importance of art and education in the presentation “The Positive Effects of Art – Music, Theatre, Visual Arts – On Kids”.
Superintendent Harry Bull moderated the panel of 10 current high school students and two graduated alumni. Bull is a proud supporter of student involvement in the arts, and cited a statistic from a study conducted by The Education Commission of the States in 2008. According to the study, 85 percent of business executives have difficulty recruiting individuals who possess creative ability.
“When you’re involved in the arts as a student, it really does enhance creative ability,” Bull said. Creativity gives students a unique viewpoint on critical thinking and problem solving.
Karen Fisher, Board of Education member, discussed the importance of art in high school after giving a board update.
“The one common denominator of our very highest achievers is the arts,” Fisher said.
The panel consisted of diverse students whose involvement in the arts covered a wide array of artistic ability. All the students agreed that involvement in all art positively impacted them throughout their high school years.
Cameron Adams, a junior at Endeavor Academy, said he turned to music after his father passed away four years ago. Adams plays guitar, sings and beatboxes. He said the arts helped him become resilient and gain confidence in all his projects.
“You are your very own person, and you can express that in any way you want to,” Adams said.
Many of the students paid tribute to music or art teachers as their mentors. Students praised these teachers for educating them on more than just art, but teaching them several life lessons along the way.
“It was the support of fantastic educators who push me to be fearless in pursuit of the arts,” said Chris Zheng, a senior at Cherry Creek High School. “I was taught you don’t make art to impress people – you make art to make art.”
Some of the other students pursued passion in photography, drawing, dancing and even museums. Rinesty Rusli, a senior at Overland High School, is a current intern at the Denver Art Museum. She said she loves to consider the thought process behind the art on display, but she said it’s easy to get too absorbed into analyzing art.
“Do not overthink it,” Rusli said. “You have to take a step back sometimes.”
All the students agreed being involved in the arts has led them to be better leaders, more compassionate people and more balanced in their day-to-day life.
The students encouraged parents in the audience to increase their students’ availability to art. They said to just let their students explore different aspects of art and find what they are passionate about.
“Never stop creating,” said Dakota Olson, a student at Cherokee Trail High School.
This presentation was just one of the monthly programs sponsored by PIN. For more information about upcoming events, podcasts and meeting highlights visit www.PINccsd.org.
This story was written by Sara Spritzer, an intern with Cherry Creek Schools Communication Services. She is a graduate of Cherry Creek High School and a senior at the University of Idaho, where she is studying public relations and political science.