In this post on the DC Youth Orchestra Program blog, arts funding, arts advocacy day, and the value of music programs for children is discussed. An excerpt:
“Sometimes we forget that non-profit businesses are just businesses, subject to the same forces that drive expansion and contraction in the rest of the economy. The DC Chamber of Commerce 2011 Policy Agenda states, ‘The past year has proven to be a test for many of our members as they work to survive the economic downturn. And over the past year, the Chamber has been able to stave off legislative and regulatory initiatives that could harm our members’ ability to operate successfully and help grow our economy, create more jobs, and improve the District’s competitiveness regionally.’ And that is where the DC Advocates for the Arts find ourselves as we prepare for Arts Advocacy Day – April 27, 2011. We are fighting to maintain support for DC students, and to protect opportunities for DC arts organizations and artists.
Will only the wealthiest children in Washington, D.C. have access to the benefits of arts education? The outcome of the current budget fight will provide some of the answer.
…Music education teaches children discipline as it validates their individual voices. Private schools see how these kinds of opportunities drive student achievement not for individual children, but in the breadth of student populations. We don’t know which children don’t drop out because of music education. We don’t know which children focus that little bit more closely because they feel better about themselves due to music education. [The DC Youth Orchestra Program] and programs like DCYOP are reaching families week in and week out, and we need your help.
To support DCYOP and all of the arts providers in the District, on Wednesday April 27, 2011 – Arts Advocacy Day – please take a minute to ask policy-makers to support arts education in the District’s FY 12 budget. Contact Mayor Gray via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at (202) 727-6300, and Council Chair Kwame Brown at email@example.com or (202) 724-8032. We need your voice to maintain public support for arts education. Please ask the Mayor and the Council Chair to support arts education, and to do that by restoring funding for the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities to FY 2010 level – $5.16million.”