Don’t worry: It’s not just art!

Before a school play, a principal worries parents will complain about all that lost test-preparation time.

[T]his principal assumes I will be alarmed that my child takes a weekly visual art class, a dance class, and a music class. She is pretty sure I’m going to think there’s something fishy going on, that Real Learning is not happening, because here are kids singing and dancing in costumes they made, on a set they built. What has that got to do with anything real?I could reel off statistics about the strength and impact of the Broadway theatre alone, just one slice of the arts industry in New York City with a multimillion dollar contribution to the economy, but you already know that. The principal must know it, too. And yet the “not real” label sticks. Maybe because artists deal in fiction and illusion? Because we make something out of nothing? —HowlRound