The Arts create THE competitive edge.  People involved in the arts acquire “21st Century Skills” that are PROVEN to be intrinsic to SUCCESS. Who benefits from this success? The student, the parents, the educators, the school district, the employer, the taxpayer, the country, and YOU. Support the arts and (you’ll) invest in the future. When students are successful, EVERYONE wins!

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ARTSpeaks would like to thank all of the school board candidates for submitting answers to our questions about their positions on important issues related to arts education.  Our questions were designed to address the candidate's position on the role of arts in education, the advantages of a STEAM curriculum, school funding and budget priorities.  We are grateful for the expressed willingness of all of the candidates to invest their time and energy into serving the educational needs of students as members of the District 204 school board.


Below are quotes regarding the role of the arts in education from each of our newly elected school board members:


"I have two children who participate in Orchestra and one of my great pleasures in life is watching them struggle and conquer a complicated piece of music. As a Scientist I know that they are learning through their Orchestra experience essential 21st Century College and Career skills including Creativity , Collaboration , Critical Thinking  andCommunication (through Musical Expression). The arts, in combination with their interest in math, science and sports, are helping my children to be well rounded interesting individuals who can engage in insightful conversations with just about anyone. Also as a Business Manager I know that the best employees are usually the ones who are versatile, not just one dimensional."   - Maria Curry


"I am proud of the arts in this district. The arts will continue to be a part of this district's curriculum.  You should also know that my son plays the tuba and I am a Director of the Indian Prairie Educational Foundation."   
-Justin Karubas


"The arts are a natural component of the common corecurriculum. My view has always been that art is about communicating our most complex and deepest feelings and ideas, in ways that escapes our common language, and actually translates globally. The common core is about drilling down into our subject matter to ensure a deep and long lasting understanding. The arts, whether visual or auditory, have a way of speaking to our souls. I can’t think of a more effective way to ensure long-­‐lasting understanding or to develop the creativity needed for discovery".    
-Cathy Piehl


"Although the Common Core Curriculum standards as written by The Council Chief State Officers and the National Governors will only specifically address the areas of language arts, math, and science, integrated fine art instruction will be essential to the implementation of the curriculum. The District 204 fine arts curriculum and program will naturally support Common Core. In fact, fine arts instruction clearly supports the tenets of Common Core by developing a student’s independence, building strong content knowledge, developing the ability to comprehend as well as critique, attending to precision, using technology and digital media strategically and capably, and by developing an understanding of other’s perspectives and cultures."    

-Mike Raczak


"The fine arts are a critical part in the development of our students. The fine arts neatly fall in line with the Common Core’s 21st Skills initiative in which the four Cs (Critical Thinking, Collaboration, Communication, and Creativity) are the building blocks, and 21st Century skills is also one of the district’s six goals. Specifically, the fine arts promote creativity in the form of art and composing. Collaboration is specifically addressed in the fine arts as illustrated by the district’s music program through the bands, orchestra’s, and multiple choirs. Our students have to collaborate to create the award winning sound that many of them have been recognized for."    

-Bennie White

Hear how the ARTS provide the competitive edge in these compelling stories...