Thanks to One Los Angeles Nonprofit, Budget Cuts Haven't Killed Off Art Class

At Los Angeles' Inner-City Arts, students get the kind of arts education that enhances their creativity, imagination, and entrepreneurial spirit.

In a survey conducted by IBM last year, 1,500 CEOs identified creativity as the number one competitive edge" of the future. And Secretary of Education Arne Duncan recently wrote that dance, music, theater, and visual arts "are essential to preparing our nation's young people for a global economy fueled by innovation and creativity."

Yet despite the need for employees and entrepreneurs with well-developed right-brain "soft skills" and the wealth of research indicating that students at schools with robust arts programs are more likely to go to college, school art programs nationwide are being decimated by budget cuts. In Los Angeles, elementary school art programs may soon disappear altogether. The result is that students are missing out on the opportunity to, in Duncan's words, "experience the arts in deep and meaningful ways and to make curricular connections with math, science, and the humanities."

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