Opinion: Society should put more emphasis on the arts


I’ve had a love of stories from a very young age. 

I have vivid memories of sitting in my room, a notepad in hand with stories about fairies and roller skates flowing from my pencil. As I’ve grown older, I began hearing about how difficult it was to be successful as an author. It felt as though I could never get anywhere in life unless I focused on a career known to be financially secure.

As my doubts enlarged, my love for writing diminished. That was, until I was introduced to the internet. 

Through various websites and social media outlets, I found a way to share my creations with the world. Scrolling through Instagram or Archive of Our Own, a website where people can share fanfiction and other original works, I see millions of artists, authors and everything in between posting one beautiful work after another. When given the opportunity, people take the chance to be creative. Shouldn’t those people be able to spend their entire lives nurturing that love?

In the U.S. today, an estimated 2,570,000 people are employed in the arts, such as authors, actors, architects, animators, musicians and photographers. That may seem like a big number, but it makes up only 1.6% of the U.S. workforce. The underlying issue with society is that there is so much emphasis on STEM subjects that creativity is often overlooked. 

Creativity shouldn’t be put on the backburner. Facts and shapes are great; they can advance our society’s knowledge and keep innovation alive. But, artists can create entire worlds within their minds. How could that be as useless as society depicts it? Globalization is a huge problem: the loss of culture and uniqueness internationally. Culture spreads through artists. Without artists, we would live in a bland, identical world without the art that makes it beautiful.

Some say that in our modern world, it makes more sense to focus on tangible things that will benefit us physically. It’s true that medicine is important because it keeps us alive, or that accounting is necessary for people to keep businesses going, but there must be room for creativity to flourish alongside those STEM subjects. Both art and science can work together to make the world more advanced and beautiful for generations to come.

Humanity needs creativity: it is what makes us truly human. We can’t continue living in a world where the arts are pushed to the side because without them, we would lose our natural uniqueness. I don’t think I could live in a world where we are all the same.