Under-appreciation of the Performing Arts Is Detrimental to Students

People who are considered to be performers are oftentimes overlooked by jocks or people considered to have more ‘sporty’ talents.

In my high school, people were often teased when they were involved in anything related to the performing arts. They were labelled as boring, lame or any other term meaning a lack of excitement.

A majority of high school students were more zealous to attend a football match rather than the school choir’s performance in the auditorium. Think about it, how often do you hear the term “baseball geek?”

Yet I can say with certainty that the term “band geek” is a familiar one.

In actuality, the performing arts is often times under supported by the student body.

The curriculum chair for performing arts at WCC, Rosemarie Serrano, mentioned in a previous interview how student support is affected by shows being held on the weekend because of the limitations on the dates that can be accessible to her and the music students. Serrano maintains that the immobility of public transportation on the weekends, especially Sundays, drastically affects the student turnout.

During our interview, she mentioned how the students involved in the performing arts react when faced with challenges.

“The students are always excited but it when we hit those snags and like I said, they never let the snags stop them, but it bothers them. Why are they treating us this way,” Serrano said. “I have heard that more than once and I go, they are not trying to treat you badly. They just do not understand what we are trying to do. We need to educate the campus. We work hard and we need some support.”

Brittney Molloy, a WCC student, expressed how she feels WCC views the performing arts.

“I think that Westchester Community College appreciates the performing arts because the school gives the students a chance to perform,” Molloy said. “I know of some concerts that chorus students put on and perform in during the year and there are music and theater clubs on campus for students to join.”

Another WCC student, Jasmine Kim, shared a different sentiment on the school’s treatment of the performing arts.

“As a third semester student at WCC, I can’t say I have ever been to an event that has to do with the performing arts,” Kim said. “I feel like there aren’t that many events or opportunities to begin with. I used to be an art major and I would personally love to see more on campus.”

The performing arts is a vital part of every educational institution. It is a beacon through which performers showcase their talents.

For many, it is a platform to becoming professionals in the field. Therefore, it is clear that more must be done in order to preserve and encourage its continued growth.

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