Teen Art Night

By Olivia Parker & Caroline Smyrk
June 26, 2018

Teen Art Night is the center to finding local work from teenage artists, that is put on by teen artists! The night is only open to teens, for them to look at what their fellow generation is producing.  Recently, President Trump issued a policy to make more than 54 billion dollars in non-defense domestic programs in the United States. Along with that, completely eliminating funding for several programs including the National Endowment for the Arts. We visited teen art night not only to check out the fun event, but to see how local teens felt on this policy.

Marco Eribes:
I feel like the arts is a very important escape and a gateway into introducing to people new ideas and concepts. Art has been an important factor in cultures throughout all of history so taking away something so fundamental to people is just heartbreaking to me.  

Some students even discussed how the defunding is already impacting their school programs.

Ava Altenbern:
Our art program is already kind of facing trouble, some stuff doesn’t function as it should. It makes it really hard for us to put on a show. We also try to do a lot of community service so it also makes it hard for us do free shows and allow people to just come in and have a good time.

The photographic event To Be Thirteen showcased students at the age of 13. Each picture was unique in their style and personality. After 6 years, some of the students came back to talk with the artist and discuss how their lives have changed since the click of the photo. We had the chance to hear the thoughts on art from some of the students.

Cassi Parker-Swenson: I’ve studied a lot in college the impact of the arts on development in early childhood. There have been numerous studies that show the impact of helping children develop and the huge impact it has. I think they should definitely increase funding if anything!

Spencer Claus: My school does not give a lot of money-no money-to the arts but we do have a drama program and so I was in my schools drama class. I think it’s just silly because arts is so important for the development of children’s minds and I can speak just from a theatre perspective, I think theater is so important because A) its literature and B) if you learn how to get up and speak in front of a group of people on stage then you can learn how to give a presentation in a boardroom how to give a presentation in science class how to have one-on-one communication with people. I think theatre bleeds out a lot into life.

The artist even took the time to mention some of her thoughts on the policy.

Betsy Schneider: I’m an art professor so I think a lot about art and education. I’ve thought a lot about-of course it makes me furious and sad but it also makes me think that we’ve got to figure out-ways to fight for it and make it happen. What can we do beyond being self-righteous and furious; how can we dig in and commit to what’s really important?

Along with some solutions for local teens.

Betsy Schneider, (cont.): One is take advantage of the technology that we have that can allow for creative expression and communication. Trying not to have money be what it's about and focusing on community building. Focusing on making things happen with fewer resources. Working smarter and working more communally and maybe stepping out of the consumerist, commercial-oriented world that we live in. Smaller scale, maybe local; that would be my solution.

Despite President Trump’s policy for the elimination of funds, the arts are still inventing new ways to spread through different fields such as STEM.

Marco Eribes: So I want to be an engineer and part of being an engineer is inventing things and in my opinion invention is another form of art because you create through technology or science or whatnot so that’s how I would sort of implement my creativity when I become older.

SPOT 127, Caroline Smyrk