Here's what Dana Gioia has to say, excerpted from his commencement speech, as Chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts, at Stanford University:
"We need to create a new national consensus. The purpose of arts education is not to produce more artists, though that is a byproduct. The real purpose of arts education is to create complete human beings capable of leading successful and productive lives in a free society. "
"Art is an irreplaceable way of understanding and expressing the world—equal to but distinct from scientific and conceptual methods. Art addresses us in the fullness of our being—simultaneously speaking to our intellect, emotions, intuition, imagination, memory, and physical senses. There are some truths about life that can be expressed only as stories, or songs, or images. "
Makes me feel good about teaching art to kids...and sad that there's not more art instruction in schools.
Read the whole speech here.