Arts support is vital

Published 10:23 pm Friday, March 23, 2018

For all of the focus on the very important academic subjects — especially the all-important science, technology, engineering and mathematics — perhaps nothing in life enriches our lives more than art.

Whether it is the visual arts, the musical arts, the performing arts or literary art, art fills our souls with passion and makes life a little less dull.

As Robin Williams’ character, John Keating, told his English students in the 1989 film “Dead Poets Society,” “We don’t read and write poetry because it’s cute. We read and write poetry because we are members of the human race. And the human race is filled with passion. And medicine, law, business, engineering, these are noble pursuits and necessary to sustain life. But poetry, beauty, romance, love, these are what we stay alive for.”

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Public schools are under more pressure every day. In the fight to pay the bills and to get in enough instructional time in the core subjects for students to master material for the Standards of Learning tests, some things inevitably fall by the wayside. In many districts, those things are art and music, which are deemed dispensable.

But the Suffolk Education Foundation’s fifth annual gala in celebration of the arts in Suffolk Public Schools, coming up on April 27, aims to help support the arts in the district.

Sponsorships, ticket sales, raffle prizes and a silent auction all will help fund the visual and musical arts programs in Suffolk Public Schools. Last year’s gala raised close to $8,000, and the money is split among Suffolk’s schools based on their participation in the event.

“Arts are underfunded, and we wanted to help the teachers who do the fine arts to make sure money was getting in the programs,” foundation member David Mitnick said earlier this week. “It’s an enjoyable evening, and it’s for a good cause.”

Tickets are available at www.suffolkeducationfoundation.org. If you believe that arts are essential to our society, make sure you go purchase your ticket now.