There is no question that exposure to the arts has tremendous benefits for our kids. Whether it’s art programs in school or access to public art projects in their local communities, art can inspire our kids to do better in school and achieve success later in life. The City of Folsom has set the stage for a one-of-a-kind public art project that is sure to engage and delight residents and visitors: the Johnny Cash Trail Art Experience.
The Johnny Cash Trail Art Experience will be an interactive art exhibit set along the Johnny Cash Trail. The Art Experience will consist of eight larger-than-life sculptures inspired by the connection between the legendary musician and the City of Folsom.
The public art project will bring the history of Folsom, the music of Johnny Cash, and the beauty of art together into one inspiring, hands-on experience nestled in the midst of a scenic multi-use trail. And that will bring huge benefits to Folsom’s kids, at a time when it’s needed most.
Read on to see how Folsom’s newest public art project, the Johnny Cash Trail Art Experience, will benefit Folsom’s kids.
Art Inspires Kids to Excel in and out of the Classroom
The benefits of arts for kids aren’t subjective; they are measurable and undeniable. Americans for the Arts has released the following facts and figures proving that art matters in the lives of kids.
A student involved in the arts is:
- 4x more likely to be recognized for academic achievement.
- 4x more likely to participate in a math or science fair.
- 3x more likely to win an award for school attendance.
- 3x more likely to be elected to class office.
The benefits of arts exposure isn’t limited to one particular socioeconomic group. However, lower-income students with low socioeconomic status are the most positively affected by the arts.
- Low income students who are highly engaged in the arts are more than twice as likely to graduate college as their peers with no arts education.
- Low socioeconomic status students with a high participation rate in the arts drop out of school at a rate of 4%, which is 5x lower than their peers with no arts education who drop out at a rate of 22%.
Exposure to the arts helps students stay in school, increases motivation, improves attitudes and attendance, and boosts academic performance.
93% of Americans believe that the arts are vital to providing a well-rounded education, which makes it so disheartening to find that today’s kids aren’t getting the same exposure to the arts as they used to.
Because the arts are rapidly disappearing from public schools across the nation.
The Decline of Art in Public Schools
The arts have been recognized as a core academic subject in 48 states, but more than ⅔ of public school teachers feel that the arts are being crowded out of schools. According to most teachers, curriculums are being narrowed and resources are being shifted away from the arts.
17% of elementary schools do not offer visual arts classes for students.
The decline of art in public schools is not just a perception; an analysis of federal data by the National Endowment of the Arts confirms it.
The percentage of students receiving any kind of arts education in schools nationwide has dropped from 65% in 1982 to just 50% today. And the rates of decline are even steeper for African-American and Hispanic students, of which only a quarter receive any form of arts education.
This decline could have far reaching implications beyond a child’s immediate education. 72% of employers say that creativity is the #1 skill they look for when hiring.
If kids aren’t learning creativity through arts programs in school, where will they?
Can Public Art Save Our Students?
If public schools can’t provide access to the arts, it may be up to communities to provide the access to art that kids need. Public art provides many benefits for communities by making art more accessible to residents of all ages.
As art declines in the classroom, public art could be the only answer to save our students from the consequences.
The City of Folsom knows the many benefits that public art can have on the local community, and is excited to bring an incredibly unique installation to life for local residents to enjoy. The first phase of the project, the Johnny Cash Trail, has already been completed.
Private donations and contributions from passionate supporters of the arts are currently pouring in to make the Johnny Cash Trail Art Experience a reality.
The art community in Folsom is thriving and vibrant with local artists and galleries doing their part to increase awareness of the arts. With the Johnny Cash Trail Art Experience, the powerful benefits of the arts will continue to be available to the children, residents, and visitors to Folsom. The arts may be declining in schools across our nation, but at least in Folsom, art is here to stay.
Did you miss our first part in this series? Read The Unexpected Benefit of the Johnny Cash Trail: Pt 1 to discover the power of public art to change communities for the better.