Are Fine Arts Doomed? This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

June 22, 2010
It's August 20, and you're sitting on the new stadium seats at your school's first football game of the season. The air is fresh, the crowd is cheering, and your team is crushing the competition. Yet among all this normal game-day excitement, something is missing. You look around and suddenly realize there's no band. Where are the thudding drums? The sharp trills of the trumpets? The deafening clashes of the cymbals?

They vanished when the soccer team received new equipment and the football stadium was rebuilt. These “essential” updates come at the cost of not only the band but your school's chorus, drama, and visual arts programs.

Now this story may sound exaggerated. What school is completely void of music and art? Unfortunately this situation is fast becoming the reality at schools across the nation. According to, if a school system is forced to reduce spending, “Arts programs are nearly always the first to go” – not sports.

Why is this? Research illustrates that students who participate in fine arts programs are more likely to succeed academically. Although athletics allow students to receive scholarships based on their performance (as do the fine arts), schedules full of practices and games limit the time that a student has to study.

Dr. E. Culpepper Clark, Dean of the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Georgia, strongly supports the fine arts. He stated that students who participate in the programs have “a strong background that strengthens” their scholastic performance. When asked if he believes that sports take precedence even at a college level, Dr. Clark replied that there is no one who could deny that they do.

So how does this scale, which seems to permanently tip in the favor of athletes, ­affect the students who are losing out? Nicole, an orchestra and drama student, said that drama was cut two years ago because the school just didn't “have the resources.” She went on to say that the focus on sports is “not fair. All students should have the same opportunities.”

Michael Duncan, a superintendent, explained that funding for the fine arts is “based on the number of students in each class.” However, he added that the money for these classes comes from taxes while the sports teams raise their funds through booster clubs. If this is so, where is all this tax money? The fine arts sure are not seeing it.

According to a report from, Ohio University gave 75 percent of its budget to intercollegiate sports teams last year, so obviously this issue is not confined to elementary and high schools. So how do we make this phenomenon end? Fund the fine arts, they fund our future.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.

Join the Discussion

This article has 14 comments. Post your own now!

EasleyCadet500 said...
Nov. 21, 2014 at 10:20 am
Sports is always going to receive more attention than the fine arts. Sorry, but that's just the way it is. If a school even thought about downsizing their sports program, let alone get rid of it, the jocks and their parents would cause a ruckus. Sadly, they are the majority. And the majority likely always has the voice in the community. Hate to be a downer, but... yeah. Sorry.
lzcelloplayer said...
Oct. 4, 2011 at 3:09 pm

I very much agree with you. Although my school still funds the fine arts program, I think I'm seeing other schools lean towards the athletics side. I'm not much into sports, and I think that people should pay more attention to the fine arts side. Though I think they should try to balance out the two. I'm in orchestra, and I feel like we need better equipment, no offense to my school. 

You did a great job on the article! 

Keep it up! 


lzcelloplayer replied...
Oct. 4, 2011 at 3:11 pm

I'm actually really glad that you wrote this by the way! I think people who do fine arts need their voices to be heard! 

(Sorry, I forgot to add this to my original comment!)


inkblot13 said...
Aug. 17, 2011 at 7:28 pm
Oops! Sorry, I meant 5 stars, not 4 :P Great article, and does have truth to it. Football can get new uniforms but choir can't get new risers :P
china12888 said...
Mar. 28, 2011 at 3:26 pm
Who needs sports? I find art and music  more relaxing.
AlexisB This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Dec. 11, 2010 at 7:38 am
Your comment really warmed by heart. We need more people in the world with your drive to preserve these important programs!
AlexisB This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Dec. 11, 2010 at 7:41 am
really warmed *my heart
SpringRayyn said...
Dec. 10, 2010 at 10:53 pm
The first thing I thought when I saw the title was "Not as long as I'm ALIVE." I hope that the fine arts in the future aren't so discrimniated against. I agree with what Nicole said, it's just not fair!
ravenwing92 said...
Dec. 9, 2010 at 3:13 pm
Amazing! I totally agree. Although sports teaches teamwork and endurance...there is way more skills taught in the arts than the sports. Arts teaches more about life and the essentials of life, mor spectrums of life. Sports only gets one spectrum of life. I totally agree with you, Author!!! ^-^
procrastinating101 said...
Nov. 29, 2010 at 5:44 pm
I completely agree. This year our school went to sub-districts for football and for our first game both teams were able to bring there band but our opponent didn't have or werent able to bring their band and it seemed kind of sad. Being in my schools band has enriched my life and provided new experiences that otherwise i wouldn't have been able to.
pianoman95 said...
Nov. 28, 2010 at 2:28 pm
I completely and totally agree. Fine arts have much more impact on our lives than most people realize. I was reading an article once about a violin student who was in a coma for a long time, when he woke up his violin teacher came to visit him with a violin. The student said he didn't know what it was, but the teacher put it in his hands and said to try playing it. Half an hour later, the student who could barely talk was playing songs by memory on his violin. Its amazing how much music effects us.
cindy x said...
Nov. 8, 2010 at 10:09 pm

i totally agree this is insane i love band. I am fully involved in the arts. this year my amazing band teacher is doing one band class before school hours with out pay because she believes in the arts and i love her for it. i just cant believe it. 


AlexisB This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Nov. 9, 2010 at 4:16 pm
That really is amazing. It's too bad more schools don't have such dedicated educators.
KyrieKissesKyle said...
Oct. 25, 2010 at 6:52 pm
I'm right there with you as a band and art student. It's awful to see the cuts. We only have one art teacher now and the band has to fundraise everything they do. Going to a competition 5 hours away on charter buses is not an inexpensive thing.
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