Why Studying the Arts Is Important

Most students in Creative Minds RAP share an interest in the arts, even if they will not be an arts major. Yet there is great pressure on students to take only courses which “count” or which will “train them for a job.” 

Below are some ideas, observations, and quotes we have collected to emphasize why studying the arts is important, regardless of your major or career aspirations. 

The arts enhance your creativity, adaptability, problem solving and idea development skills, risk tolerance, flexibility and discipline while you learn to work through frustrations, ultimately building your self-confidence and self-esteem. 

The arts increase cultural awareness. “Wherever your path takes you, make the arts a meaningful part of your life in some way. Honestly, they are food for the soul. They revitalize us. They transport us. Inspire us. Shape us. Humble us. They connect us worldwide in ways that nothing else can.” — Julie Andrews CU commencement address May 2013

Graduate schools and employers look for well-rounded critical thinkers, not just majors

“GE hires a lot of engineers. We want young people who can do more than add up a string of numbers and write a coherent sentence. They must be able to solve problems, communicate ideas and be sensitive to the world around them. Participation in the arts is one of the best ways to develop these abilities.” – Clifford V. Smith, President of the General Electric Foundation

“We need people who think with the creative side of their brains—people who have played in a band, who have painted…it enhances symbiotic thinking capabilities, not always thinking in the same paradigm, learning how to kick-start a new idea, or how to get a job done better, less expensively.” –Annette Byrd, GlaxoSmithKline

"I believe that creativity will be the currency of the 21st century."

– Gerald Gordon, Ph.D., President/CEO, Fairfax County (Virginia) Economic Development Authority

“It is in Apple’s DNA that technology alone is not enough—it’s technology married with liberal arts, married with the humanities, that yields us the results that make our heart sing.”

–Steve Jobs, in introducing the iPad 2 in 2011