Lincoln County News | Newcastle, ME
Thursday, May 26, 2016 Serving Maine and Lincoln County for over a century. Volume 141 Issue 21


home : letters : letters to the editor May 26, 2016

7/31/2013 2:00:00 PM
How Unfortunate This Act Is

To the Editor:

I have recently been informed that Jefferson has fired two art teachers. If this is correct I would like to point out how unfortunate this act is.

Art education is no "frill." Art is essential to the growth of person from birth to death, and one of the key things that whole civilizations are judged by, but let's just judge from an economic standpoint.

According to a very recent survey, art purchases brought into Lincoln County alone, $10 million, of which $5 million was again spent in Lincoln County. I think even that study had too small a sampling.

In Lincoln County alone, there are hundreds (sic) of galleries and hundreds more of residents making a living from art. There is an art event every week, year round and every day during the summer, all generating money to be spent locally.

As a former art employer, I paid far above minimum wages to local residents for 30 years, and brought hundreds of thousands of out of state dollars each year to Maine. My experience is duplicated all over the county.

I was not so good in school, but I had the good fortune to grow up around the arts. Otherwise I might still be driving a truck. Study after study shows that the practice of art improves performance in every other subject. Art is so basic to every enjoyment in life that it amazes me that the study of it is considered something "extra."

A few bucks "saved" now, will result in unseen, unrecognized costs when art ignorant students encounter the world. As I believe, Franklin said. "I study war, so that my sons, may study politics, so that their sons may study art." Art is the only career, practical, trade if you will, a student encounters from kindergarten on through life. A kid does not have to have a particular talent to benefit, any more than a lack of talent for math or English should excuse the study of it.

The best course for the success of the Jefferson school system would be to develop the very best arts and music program in Maine.

Richard Macdonald
Macdonald Stained Glass Ltd.
Boothbay Harbor

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