March is National Youth Art Month! This is a month to promote art education and access to art for all young people. Many schools across the country have been forced to cut their art programs due to budget cuts, which is an absolute travesty.
Art is an amazing way for students to express themselves and often cope with issues that are going on in the background. For me, art has always been an important part of my life. I have never been the best artist, but I have always enjoyed taking part in it. When I was in elementary school, art was my favorite subject. When I was in middle school, I used art to cope with mental health issues that I was having. I started going to an art therapist that helped me express my feelings through my art and let emotions out in creative ways. Now, I am in high school, and I have not had time in my schedule to take an art class since freshman year. I wholeheartedly miss having time in my school day to decompress and take a break from tests and other stressful activities to make art. However, I am extremely lucky even to have had the opportunity to take art classes in the first place. Many schools do not offer enough art classes and don’t give students enough opportunities to express themselves. For some, art is their prospective career. For others, like me, art is just a fun way to destress. However, whatever students want to take an art class for, they should at least have the option to do so.
Youth Art Month was created to promote this idea and raise awareness for this issue. Art is a coping mechanism, a career field, a field of study, and a really fun activity! All students and young people should have equal opportunities to try it out.