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Fine Arts: An Emerging Enterprise
As budgets have shriveled and music, art, dance, and drama classes have been cut from curricula across the country, many have begun to re-energize the fight for increased fine arts education in America’s public schools and academic institutions. Advocates argue that fine arts are necessary for a well-rounded and liberal education. Furthermore, they contend that music and other fine arts foster creativity and contribute to educational achievement and overall learning.

Many budget-conscious principals and administrators, however, argue that given limited funds, the focus and priority must be put on academic instruction. While academic instruction is very important, much research is actually showing more and more that fine arts education is directly linked to student achievement. In fact, a 2012 study done by the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) found that arts education among at-risk youth was associated with better academic outcomes. For instance, youth from the lowest quarter of socioeconomic status in the eighth grade who had high-arts experience were more than thirty percent more likely to have planned to earn a bachelor’s degree than youth in the same quarter of socioeconomic status with low-arts experience.

Fine arts can stimulate the senses and exude brilliance. They are visually stunning, intellectually absorbing, aurally moving, and happily entertaining. Fine arts can also be a fairly lucrative business. In fact, the Gwinett County School District in Georgia recently awarded contracts in January of 2016 totaling more than $350,000 to thirteen different vendors to supply various art supplies and equipment. The largest of these contracts was awarded to Pyramid School Products for more than $180,000.

Local school districts as well as public colleges and universities are beginning to rediscover the importance of music and other fine arts on academic achievement. An increasing number of RFPs are flowing into the government marketplace relating to music and art. These agencies are requesting everything from musical instruments and art supplies to theatre costumes and play scripts. Suppliers of fine arts materials as well as firms that provide instruction services in promotion of the arts and culture must look no further than FindRFP to find opportunities of interest.

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