“What you do makes a difference, and you have to decide what kind of difference you want to make.”
Primatologist, anthropologist and activist, Jane Goodall
The value of creativity cannot be overstated. Arts programs in schools and communities enable students and citizens to dream, resulting in ideas, products, technologies and—ultimately—jobs.
What children and young adults, in particular, stand to gain from active engagement with arts organisations and practices is everything we want for them—self-belief, a sense of belonging, resilience, focus and self-control, interpersonal skills, emotional awareness, empathy, tolerance, social awareness, a means of expressing themselves in non-destructive ways, and the ability to overcome barriers and find win-win outcomes in the face of conflict.
Children and adolescents who sing, dance or act outperform those who do not in virtually every measure. They are four times more likely to be recognised for academic achievement, and have better cognitive, motor and social skills than their non-performing friends. As a result, upon reaching adulthood those same individuals hold stronger pro-civic and -social values, aspire to higher career goals, are more likely to enter into public service work, and actively contribute to ongoing efforts to promote of art and culture within their communities.