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Are the visual and performing arts important? Important for who? Why?

“Art is a way of talking to strangers.”

-Marlene Dumas

There have been countless hours spent on research and studies on the importance of arts and culture in our society. Not enough hours are spent in the support, promotion, or participation in the arts. But what do the arts do for us?

In a discussion led by Kahn Academy, where they invited their users and the rest of the internet community to provide their feedback; and the response was ​​invaluable. What they concluded “…art is an inextricable part of our lives that offers connection, insight, and expression… Art makes us think more deeply, strive more intently, and feel joy more profoundly.”

Connection, Insight, and Expression: Art allows us to create a seamless connection between motivation, instruction, assessment, and practical application [in education], likewise integrates mind, body, and spirit — leading to a deep understanding of the world around us. This understanding, in turn, provides insight into that world as we navigate through our life and connect with others through self-expression. Marlene Dumas, a renown visual artist, has said, “Art is a way of talking to strangers.” Since the beginning or humanity, art was the base of human communication.

Arts importing in Education?

Katy Independent School District’s Fine Arts Department strongly argue that the arts cannot be learned by the occasional random exposure just as you cannot learn math and science the same way. “Education and engagement in the fine arts are an essential part of the school curriculum and an important component of the educational program of every student.” Its the way in which our brain is wired to learn; the fine arts engages and enhances these processes that are the driving force for learning. The arts also give students additional benefits such as the promotion of self-esteem, motivation, exposure to culture, improved emotional expression (in a healthy manner), creativity, and appreciation of social diversity and harmony.

“Arts education fosters creative, critical thinking, problem-solving and collaboration.”

-Otis Report on the Creative Economy  of California(2015)

The importance of arts in education is evident in the real world after graduation. Companies today are looking for candidates with creativity and out-of-the-box thinking as well as problem-solving and communication skills. The Otis Report on the Creative Economy of California provides a wealth of information and resources to argue the importance arts in education especially as a driving force for a Creative Economy. According to the Otis Report, the creative economy is defined as the businesses and individuals involved in producing cultural, artistic, and design goods and services. Creativity is one of California’s important economic assets and undoubtedly essential to California’s Creative Economy. The Otis Report emphasizes the importance of arts in education:

“the creative economy must include a support system that teaches, nurtures and sustains creative activity: arts programs in K-12 schools, post-secondary arts institutions to develop talent, and philanthropic foundations along with other nonprofit organizations to provide financial resources, incentives, and services to the creative arts.”

“Education” does not stop in schools but spills out into the community. Our Organization- The North County Coalition for the Arts (NoCCA) exists to fill the need of arts and culture in the Imperial County. Our mission is simple: To bring performing/visual arts and artists together with the diverse communities of Imperial Valley; to promote, inspire and educate. We do everything that we can to give back to a community and the [creative] economy through the arts, and we are only able to do what we do because of the generous community that gives back to us.

If you want to learn more about what we do and how you can donate, subscribe to our email list here.

And as always,


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