Wilson Sadowski: High school arts cuts threaten city’s vibrant culture
To the editor:
As a city that prides itself on its vibrant artistic culture and its strong sense of community, it is our social responsibility to take action in saving the arts at Northampton High School. The high school is where our art communities are born; it’s where the pride of our culture grows.
I am reluctant to say that I took the arts at NHS for granted as a student over the past four years, but the perspective I’ve gained being among a vastly different student body at college has allowed me to realize just how gifted Northampton’s art community is. I am around less art now, and I feel less of a sense of community because of it. Even more important than its economic importance to our city, art is a social staple in Northampton and we need the arts programs at NHS so our students can be exposed to tightly knit communities that are representative of the greater Northampton area today.
During the first semester in college, professors and advisers stress to students the importance of paying particular attention to community and building social networks. We are taught that “making connections” is the most important skill we can develop as young businessmen and women. To this end — while I was close with my varsity teammates in high school, and made a few friends in the classroom, it was my involvement in the arts that allowed me to build the strongest relationships. Over the past few months I have met few peers that have shared similar experiences with their hometown art communities. Northampton is a special place for art, and we should continue to encourage and celebrate it in our high school.
We must encourage social progress within the high school walls because it is unquestionably the most important part of youth development. The future of our vibrant artistic culture in Northampton depends on the artistic resources and opportunities we give our students and the communities that arise from them. We must take action in saving the arts at Northampton High School so that the artistic community of Northampton flourishes for years to come.