• The Arts


    What Use Are the Arts? It is an age-old quesBookstion.

    The arts are important in themselves. They uniquely express ideas and feelings. They affect us intellectually and emotionally. They challenge, unsettle, inspire and delight.

    Since the earliest days, humans have also found the arts useful: they've been expressions of the sacred or records of earliest historical memory, for example. And at least since the Age of Reason, there's been debate about whether the arts have a moral, improving, function or whether people can learn creativity through the "doing" of art.

    More recent theorists propose that the arts can be useful because they are an alternate way of experiencing and knowing. Painting or playing an instrument don't necessarily cause one to be creative in math (although some studies do find correlations between mathematical and artistic creativity). Rather, the arts are a particularly potent medium for teaching certain skills and knowledge: the capacity to look deeply, to see patterns, to make connections or create meaning, for instance.