3 Not-So-Obvious Reasons “The Arts” Contribute To Society


We’ve all heard it before; The Arts are vital to our youth’s development, The Arts are under attack, Arts programs are being cut from schools.

What really makes The Arts, or any creative activity, so important to our youth, and to our society?

According to Americansforthearts.org, the positive impact of The Arts (an all encompassing term which includes, literature, dance, painting, music, et al…) reaches far beyond the classrooms of our youth where finger-painting and paper “hand” turkeys .

Below are a few not-so-obvious areas of society that benefit greatly from The Arts, and it’s byproduct, creativity.

  1. Transportation and Infrastructure
    Planes, trains, automobiles. Concrete bridges, freeways, highways, on-ramps and off-ramps. Likely these are the images that come to mind when we think of infrastructure. The boring stuff we take for granted when those rubber treads hit the asphalt. Swishing through a freeway overpass tunnels you vaguely take note of the colorful mural splashed across the dreary concrete walls.

    Artists are responsible (legally, and probably sometimes not so legally) for the murals, mosaics and more that add a touch of beauty to our often utilitarian urban landscapes. Artists have been asked to collaborate on transportation and infrastructure to improve community engagement, and to develop more innovative and environmentally friendly solutions. As well, artist contributions improve community engagement.

    Example: The New York City subway system has benefitted from the Arts in Transit program. A program that has drastically reduced graffiti and vandalism. The city claims a 100% clean transit system.

  2. Military
    Art Therapy is well-known to have high rates of success treating various issues and disorders.

    For our service members, use of Art Therapy is pivotal in treating PTSD and depression, and are proven to increase recovery rates in managing physical, mental and moral injuries, and is estimated to save the military billions in health care costs,

    In addition, The Arts aid transition from military to civilian life. Creative writing, as a form of expression to manage PTSD, distress, anger and more, help veterans re-enter into civilian life.

    Arts Rank in the top 5 for most helpful treatments, out of approximately 40 treatment options.

  3. Immigration
    The United States, a patchwork diaspora of cultures. The American artistic narrative absorbing much of these different backgrounds to great positive effect. The Arts serve as cultural experiences that strengthen community ties and create harmony and improve well-being.

    We should take note; 1-in-4 U.S. Nobel laureates in literature are immigrants, and 57% believe American Culture improved by immigrant cultures.