Recognizing students in the arts


Michaela Malec

Concert percussion is one of the many music classes offered at school. Outside of school, these students practice just as much as athletes.

At every pep rally or recognition assembly, I always feel like there is an unfair focus on the sports of our school. In the audience of the assemblies, we sit next to many students that have potentially put an equal amount of time to perfect their skills in the arts, but they go unnoticed.

Students who participate in the arts, whether it be in class or as an extracurricular, are often overlooked. They’re the background music at sports games and the paintings on the walls, but their work merits much more than that.

Students in the arts put time aside every single day in their class schedules to practice and learn about what they do. Having this class in their day makes them sacrifice the opportunity to take other electives or study halls. This doesn’t even cover the additional lessons and classes taken outside of school. Students and their parents spend a great amount of money and time to fuel their passion, just like an athlete. They must practice for auditions and work on pieces for art shows in their extra time, just as an athlete goes to practice in preparation for games.

“Often people see that musicians practice, but people need to recognize people are putting a tremendous amount of hours into art. They often think if you have [artistic talent], you have it,” said Ms. Milas, art teacher and Art Department chair.

Michaela Malec
The Art Department has a variety of classes students can take including ceramics, jewelry making, studio art, and more that allows students to release their creativity.

The only difference is the way students of the arts are perceived by their other classmates and teachers. Everyone gets pumped up to attend the next game, and you know the people playing in it and who to cheer for. The culture of an arts students showcase is wildly different. You would never go to a music concert at school and bring a big sign cheering for the Chamber Choir. There aren’t cheerleaders, free t-shirts, or other incentives at the art shows. Therefore, their talent tends to go more unnoticed in comparison.

“We do have the [after school] music awards in the spring,” said Mr. Kurinsky, band director and head of the Music Department.

Currently, most of the recognition for arts students comes from inside the respective departments. The school holds art shows, the music awards ceremony, and posts on the Art Department Twitter and the Music Department website.

“I believe that [art students need more recognition],” said Ally Biegel, junior art student. “Nobody bothers to show up to art shows or band concerts that take a lot of work.”

The school holds recognition assemblies every so often, and the awards and acknowledgments go mostly towards athletes. High-achieving arts students should be rewarded in the same manner. They should ring the victory bell and receive awards in front of their peers to boast their achievements and celebrate the hard work that got them to where they are.