Editorial: ART BALL 2018: History in the Making

ALBANY, GA (WALB) - This is a guest editorial by Paula Williams, Executive Director of the Albany Museum of Art

On behalf of the staff, and Board of Trustees of the Albany Museum of Art, I wanted to take this opportunity to thank our sponsors, volunteers and guests who supported the ART BALL 2018: History in the Making.

It was one of the most successful fundraisers that the museum has had in many years. The funds raised from this event will help support free admission, an exciting exhibition schedule and public programming. We are proud that we are able to welcome thousands of people to the museum, with museum visitors coming from all over South Georgia.

Each year the Albany Museum of Art continues to advance its mission of serving as an arts and cultural hub for Albany and the region by bringing together and celebrating the diversity of our community and region. With our future anchor location in downtown Albany, we will become more accessible to our community.

I know that many people wonder why the arts are important, and over the past several years, we've all seen the trend of schools cutting the arts from their curriculum. Music, art, theater—gone for so many. There's no doubt that the arts are fun for kids. But the arts also help kids develop on many fundamental levels.

The arts allow kids to express themselves better than math or science. If children have practice thinking creatively, it will come naturally to them now, and in their future career. The arts don't just develop a child's creativity; the skills they learn because of them spill over into academic achievement.

Did you know that young people who participate regularly in the arts are four times more likely to be recognized for academic achievement, to participate in a math and science fair or to win an award for writing an essay or poem than children who do not participate?

We know that students with high arts engagement are three times more likely to earn a bachelor's degree compared to those with low arts engagement. And we know that those who are engaged with the arts are twice as likely to volunteer compared to non-participants. The arts also make a huge impact on the quality of life of economic development of a community.

The mission of the Albany Museum of Art is to cultivate curiosity and passion for art in everyday life. Serving thousands of school kids and adults each year with free admission, we have seen many lives changed for the better.

The arts matter in South Georgia and we are very grateful to the community for supporting not only the art museum, but all of our community arts organizations.

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