National statistics show that the arts make up a very small portion of philanthropic giving, about 5% in 2014. Survey after survey confirms that potential donors don’t give to the arts because they believe they are only for certain groups of people or take away from other causes. On the contrary, the arts are the O-negative of all social issues, benefiting people universally and in surprising ways.
The Bridge is a nonprofit that serves homeless citizens of North Texas and we’re proud that they are one of the nonprofit AT&T Performing Arts Center’s many community partners. Some might wonder what a performing arts organization can offer people struggling to find housing. When we asked The Bridge why they brought their constituents here, a staff person there told us that “It provides them with a sense of dignity.”
Our partners at the Vickery Meadow Learning Foundation have spoken about how the arts are a valuable assimilation tool for young immigrants. Our education-oriented partners tell us that their students are able to imagine a bigger, broader life when they step onto the beautiful campus of the AT&T Performing Arts Center. And for those students who participate in our theatre tech course, the arts become one with science, technology, engineering and math.
The truth is that when the arts are integrated into other academic concepts, social justice efforts and even rehabilitation techniques, they can become a dramatic catalyst for change.
Here’s a few reasons why the arts can augment any cause.
They cull the imagination. Part of creating a better, more fulfilling life involves envisioning goals and a future. The arts flex the imagination muscles in the brain and help people start thinking outside the box that confines them, into an entirely new world.
They help people heal. For people who are suffering through a crisis, such as homelessness, sickness or addiction, the arts are a powerful form of therapy that can speed up and improve their recovery.
They are undeniably useful in academic settings. Integrating the arts into core subjects is important because art increases critical thinking skills, collaboration, innovation and a wide range of provable benefits.
The arts build community. People from different backgrounds and beliefs can all come together – Guetzkow.pdf around the arts. Seeing a performance doesn’t belong to one group; it belongs to us all.
Here’s the catch. The only way that the arts can impact people is to give them high-quality experiences. At the nonprofit A&T Performing Arts Center, we are uniquely positioned to provide the best performing arts experiences to people because of the tier of our shows, educators and programs.
If you believe that everyone should access the arts, help us raise that 5% giving level by giving to us on Giving Tuesday, taking place all day on December 1.