Welcome back to our B’more Youth Arts Advocacy Council P.S.A.As! Today we will be introducing you another one of our talented youth behind the advocacy work BYAAC will work on & participate in throughout the year. With each chance to meet our council comes a chance to read some of their work on art advocacy. Below each intro is some of the council member’s words & potential art speaking on arts advocacy & we invite you to take a read!

Today’s council member we would like you to meet is Thelma Williams! Thelma is a Senior (12th grade) at Bard H.S. Early College. Skilled in Theatre, Thelma is ready to bring her voice to the table and be heard when it comes to her education and the education of many others around her!

But What About Us:

Prompt: I HAVE THE RIGHT to be supportedby leaders in my community and school that understand the benefits of an arts education to prepare me for college, career, and life.

Cassandra stood there in the middle of all the chaos. A college fair that she had to attend for credits. She looked around and none tickled her fancy. All offered medical schools, chemistry, biology, physics, neuropsychology, statistics, engineering, English, and maybe a sprinkle of history programs that have nothing to do with what she wanted. She went up to each of them and asked about the Arts. She couldn’t imagine a life without acting and theater. The feeling of the warm spotlight burning her head and the rush of adrenaline when she says her line. But that was only in her head. She never got to fully express herself and what she wanted to do. If it wasn’t for her school pushing the arts away for all the extra STEM classes,  it was her parents. They would say,

“Maybe try something more sustainable. Something that you can go to college for and get a job. You don’t want to be broke do you?”

That would make her sad. She would say,

“But what about us?”

The Arts Keep me Going

Art is more than time off or time wasted. It is not free time nor is it unimportant. It is a time for students to express themselves. Whether that be bursting out into song in the school choir, letting out their frustration on a set of drums, or even letting their emotions flow through a character onstage. It is important to their future and their emotional and physical development. So that is why we need the arts in school.

Growing up people around me would say that the arts were a side activity that you shouldn’t take seriously. “Theater isn’t that serious, it’s not like it matters in college.” “Creative writing is such a waste of money and a degree.” And the regular insulting comments like, “You write?! Such a nerd.” “You’re such a theater kid. Shut up, you always like attention.” What people don’t know is that comments like that do not shut me down, they make me want to prove to people that there is value in what I am doing and intensifies my love for the arts.  It makes me want to continue writing and continue being that   “annoying”  theater kid who asks everybody “But what about us? 



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