A note from the Chairman
Welcome to The Josephine Foundation’s very First Quarterly Newsletter. I am very proud of our organization, and as Chairman since its inception, I have seen some wonderful things happen over the years by the people who are energized by this organization. I hope in the months and years to come, this newsletter will serve as a forum for discussion on the performing arts, which makes such a huge difference in how we live our lives. In my first article I would like to take the angle of how the arts in education changes the lives of many.
A recent study performed by The National Endowment for the Arts shows some amazing findings regarding young people who include the arts in their education studies as opposed to those who don’t. Among the key findings were as follows:
Better academic outcomes — Teenagers and young adults who have a history of in-depth arts involvement (“high arts”) show better academic outcomes than those with less arts involvement (“low arts”). They earn better grades and have higher rates of college enrollment and attainment.
Students from the inner cities who had arts-rich experiences in high school were ten percent more likely to complete a high school calculus course than inner city students with low arts exposure (33 percent versus 23 percent).
High-arts, in the eighth grade were more likely to have planned to earn a bachelor’s degree (74 percent) than all students or low-arts students (43 percent).
High-arts, inner city students were 15 percent more likely to enroll in a highly or moderately selective four-year college than low-arts, inner city students (41 percent versus 26 percent).
Students with access to the arts in high school were three times more likely than students who lacked those experiences to earn a bachelor’s degree (17 percent versus five percent).
When it comes to participating in extracurricular activities in high school, high-arts, are much more likely also to take part in intramural and interscholastic sports, as well as academic honor societies, and school yearbook or newspaper — often at nearly twice or three times the rate of low-arts students.
Higher career goals — There is a marked difference between the career aspirations of young adults with and without arts backgrounds.
High-arts, inner city College students had the highest rates of choosing a major that aligns with a professional career, such as accounting, education, nursing, or social sciences (30 percent), compared to low-arts, inner city students (14 percent) and the overall student sample (22 percent).
Half of all adults with arts-rich backgrounds expected to work in a professional career (such as law, medicine, education, or management), compared to only 21 percent of low-arts, young adults.
More civically engaged – Young adults who had intensive arts experiences in high school are more likely to show civic-minded behavior than young adults who did not, with comparatively high levels of volunteering, voting, and engagement with local or school politics.
High-arts, eighth graders were more likely to read a newspaper at least once a week (73 percent) compared to low-arts, inner city students (44 percent) and the overall student sample (66 percent).
High-arts, inner city young adults reported higher volunteer rates (47 percent) than the low-arts, overall student sample and inner city young adults (43 and 26 percent respectively).
High-arts, inner city young adults voted in the last national election at a rate of 45 percent, compared to 31 percent of low-arts, inner city young adults.
Despite these and many other studies, the Performing Arts has gotten the short end of the stick in our schools when it comes to funding, commitment and the absolute must of making it part of required curriculum. It is why we at The Josephine Foundation continue to support and promote these programs. We have seen firsthand what an education that includes “high arts” does for young people. We will continue to be a voice, fighting for the commitment to the arts to be honored. In an age where information comes pouring over the media outlets, phones, iPad, etc. etc. in what seems like seconds, our young people get an overflow of information that use to take us days to receive. Too much information without the ability or skill to process it, is extremely dangerous. Performing Arts Programs and disciplined Sports programs give our young people the skills to better handle information. These skills are essential in today’s society. The facts are there for all to see. Use your voice to stand up for
balance in education.
Andrew Joseph Koslosky
Chairman of the Board
The Josephine Foundation