Arts Education | WYPR

Arts Education

Rowland Scherman - U.S. National Archives and Records Administration

Music has long been used as protest. Bob Dylan, Joni Mitchell, Joan Baez, John Lennon, and CCR, and so many others, used their music as a way to protest the Vietnam War. They wrote songs that addressed systemic injustices and sought to unite people through the power of their music.

Today, many musicians are doing the same.

Music as activism is constantly growing and evolving, and art continues to be a vital medium for expression and dialogue.

Today on the show we’re looking at the Arts… Arts as Activism. We’ll be talking with musicians and visual artists about how their art is intertwined with their activism. 

Art puts the Charm in Charm City. But with federal budget cuts that threaten the Arts, what does the future look like for arts education and cultural initiatives? 

The Trump Administration’s budget for 2019 calls for eliminating four federal cultural agencies in a move that would save almost $1 billion from a $4.4 trillion spending plan – these cultural agencies include National Endowment for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Institute of Museum and Library Services and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

These funding cuts are indicative of a disturbing trend in both federal and state budgets that place little emphasis on the arts. Arts education in schools is particularly vulnerable – with more quote ‘employable’ disciplines lines math and science being emphasized – many educators are worried subjects like music, art, and literature will be poorly funded, or in some cases, cut altogether.

On this episode, Wes learns about the power of arts education on students long-term and talks with local arts educators, activisists, and non-profit leaders. 

Jonna McKone

For the fifth time in ten years, a Maryland teacher is one of four finalists for the National Teacher of the Year award.  Athanasia Kyriakakos is the first Baltimore City teacher to reach those heights.

Kyriakakos, the only visual arts teacher at Mergenthaler Vocational Technical High School, or Mervo, was chosen for her dedication to her students and her commitment to teaching art as a critical thinking skill.

She started at Mervo, the biggest high school in Baltimore, four years ago and found the school didn’t do much in the way of proudly showcasing its students’ work in the glass display cases that line the halls.