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Arts & Life

SODA Director Touts Value of Arts Curricula

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Photo by Victoria Wicks

South Dakota schools are struggling with tight budgets, and some of them have let the arts slide because of it. But the executive director of South Dakotans for the Arts says it’s a poor economic move for schools to remove arts from the learning experience.

Pat Boyd says some schools are doing better than others in providing arts to students. She says some of the larger schools and certain districts and individual classrooms have artists on staff who regularly bring music, visual arts, dance, literature, and poetry into the curriculum.

“In some school districts, it’s flourishing, and they’ve taken into their embrace the research and the data and the anecdotal evidence and the history of mankind, discovering that children and adults all learn better, broadly, more deeply, if the arts are part of the learning experience,” Boyd says.

Music assists students to learn math, visual art and music inspire engineers and architects, and dance and movement allow students to understand synchronicity, Boyd says. She notes that when the economy causes the arts to die out, culture also fades away.