As a student who has been in arts magnet programs for years, the topic of funding has never been interesting to me. I was always too focused on my work to really pay any attention to it, but now after doing research and looking into the topic more, I’ve realized how important funding is.
Just imagine what an arts program would be like if there weren’t enough supplies for the students, or if there weren’t enough teachers, or if there weren’t any opportunities for the students to express themselves outside of school. It’s not like there’s an unlimited amount of these resources to go around, and a lack of money can keep any arts program from being great. If the funding is lacking, then the supplies are very limited, which can really bring the number of projects down to almost none. But if an art program has substantial funding, the teachers can do a lot more interesting and fun projects.
For arts education programs in the state of Alabama, the funding is part of the state’s education budget. And for the past three years, that funding has increased. It went from $600,000 to $800,000, and now it’s at $1,300,000. Why has the funding increased? I found myself asking. And where’s the money going? To get answers on this, and about arts funding in general, I interviewed two experts on the matter, Andy Meadows with the Alabama State Department of Education and Diana Green with the Alabama State Council on the Arts.
To read the interviews, click the following links: