Follow Your HeART

      With a recent state championship in football and prospects looking bright to take home a banner for boys basketball, Marshfield High School’s athletic department is full of respect. But, being a student athlete should not be the only goal our peers should want to attain. What about art? Or foreign language? Or music?

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, programs at Marshfield like the jazz choir, New Horizons, Speech and Debate, and the Madral Players have taken a severe dip in participants. The lack of support for any creativity is dwindling the future of music, television, literature and film. 

These elective classes are crucial for self discovery, relationship building, and overall well-roundedness of a community. These classes force students to look at deeper meanings, and feel the stories come to life. 

These classes also make a community. Having something in common with your peers makes all the difference when it comes to creating lasting friendships. The arts communicate, create beauty, make social statements, and are there to be enjoyed. 

Is it justified to separate the humanities from sciences? While scientific methods are set in stone, the world’s best scientists coincide with art. Leonardo da Vinci said “To develop a complete mind: Study the science of art; Study the art of science. Learn how to see. Realize that everything connects to everything else.”

With a 30% decline in art based learning for the past two years it would only be a disservice to continue cutting away at what could be one of the last lifelines students have. But, what is there to do when discipline behind the dedication is lacking. Students have not been able to fully invest themselves in the art, leading to a two year plato in skill. And, new students don’t know how much time is put into one photo or 30-seconds on a stage. While time dedication can be fighting, fostering a passion for the subject will create the work ethic.  

Marshfield’s athletic achievements are many, and celebrated frequently. However, many stand-out artists have not been recognized. It is not commonly known that two national tour performers and a Tony Award winning musical composer once walked the halls at MHS. Oregon’s bay area has a legacy of artistic greatness, but in order to continue we must foster the arts throughout the community.

Instead we need to invest and inspire fine art students to keep going. We should encourage artistic students to follow the beat of their heart when the tempo is already set, rather than discourage their direction. We need to take away comparative ideas and appreciate art as art. We need to teach performance principals, and the expression through movement. We need art.