Aching arts

Art programs are unbelievable, but many of their efforts go unnoticed.


photo by Art by Amelia Anthony

The illustration represents the struggles that artist face day to day trying to make money, while sports thrive.

Have you gone to any shows or concerts this year?

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Picture Sam Momary stadium filled. Teachers and students alike all crowding in ready for the event to begin. The stadium lights shine brightly and the concession stand is crowded. Everyone’s attention is directed towards the field as the announcer introduces the team.  Now imagine that this was not your run of the mill football game, but in fact a school choir concert. This is hard to envision, because the truth of the matter is, not many people appreciate Hagerty’s arts as much as they should.

This year Chorus got invited to Disney’s Candlelight Procession as an honor choir. Not only this, but they just recently sent eight members of their choir to Seminole All County choir. These are remarkable achievements, but only parents seem to go to their concerts. Choir cannot fill the auditorium, let alone a football stadium. Thanks to a generous community, the arts here are well funded and thriving, something that Hagerty takes for granted.   

Under funding arts is a national problem. After the recession many school districts were forced to cut down or even eliminate their schools’ art programs, and funding has stayed relatively the same since. According to federal funding for the arts and humanities in education is around $250 million a year, while the National Science Foundation is given almost $5 billion dollars.

Art programs like theater, dance and chorus encourage refining students skills while working towards a common goal, creating artists that have better critical thinking skills and an ability to adapt to new things. When schools can’t support themselves, their arts suffer.

New World is a prestigious art based high school located in the Miami area. Many famous alumni have come from this school including Alex Lacamore the musical director and orchestrator of “Hamilton” the Broadway Musical. After recent art cuts from the state legislature this year New World is not only experiencing hardships, but it could potentially shut down.

Luckily, many of our art programs have boosters or fundraisers that bring in enough income to support themselves, but still boosters pull out and fundraisers flop. Imagine if Hagerty did not have their seasonal plays, or the fire dance performances at pep rallies. Sets, music, choreography, it all costs money and is not cheap. Students still have to pay fees in order to be apart of the arts. Chorus, Band, Dance and Culinary all require fees anywhere from $50-$300 a year sometimes more taking into account uniforms and instruments.

Taking Hagerty’s arts for granted would be a mistake. Art students put a lot of time into what they produce. Band students spend up to six hours a week practicing for their halftime show. That is more than most high school students sleep a night. This of course is in addition to the one to two periods of band that they already take each day. Something with that much effort put into it should be appreciated.  

Having an art program as wonderful as ours is something Hagerty should be proud of. There is a bunch of programs you can support this winter, including the Rhapsody and Blue concert on December 7th. It is a combination of band and chorus as well as some other things. Consider it your tasting platter of the arts. Pick what you like and and stick with them. There is also a winter chorus concert December 11th. Plenty of opportunities to get out there and support the arts.