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Letter to the Editor: Measures W, X Will Ensure Funding for Arts Instruction

One of my favorite memories of childhood was playing trumpet and drums in the Roosevelt Elementary School orchestra. We took for granted the variety of available instruments, the expert and laughter-filled instruction of Mr. Yoshida, and we felt like we owned the packed auditorium when we debuted the theme song from the hit new film of the day, Rocky.

No doubt about it, it was cool to be in the band. And the pride and confidence I gained in the experience was elemental in my path toward becoming a professional musician/film and television composer years later.

The power and influence of arts instruction (music, art, theater) in a child’s life is immeasurable, regardless of the child’s aptitude or future vocational path. Emotionally, it encourages a child to express his or her own unique “voice” of creativity with confidence and pride. Academically, it has been proven to dramatically enhance analytical and reasoning skills, from mathematics and science to language arts. Socially, it is an opportunity for positive and constructive camaraderie, which also extends into the after-school hours as an alternative to gangs and other harmful activity.

In many countries, arts instruction is considered essential to a complete school curriculum. Unfortunately, in our nation there has been a gradual erosion over the decades of the perceived value and necessity of arts programs at the budgetary chopping block. This has been to the undeniable detriment of not only the education of our children, but to their extracurricular quality of life as well.

Fortunately, we have an opportunity as a community to ensure that arts education will continue to be available to all students in our public schools through the passage of Measures W and X. Simply put, without the continued funding provided by Measures W and X, these programs will not exist.

Please join your fellow neighbors, friends and community leaders who are determined to show our children that these essential areas to the whole of their education are not expendable. Please vote for Measures W and X.

Todd Capps
Santa Barbara

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