High School Performaning Art Centers Are in High Demand in Many Parts of the Country


The group of show choir parents were the first to pose the idea of building a performing arts center for the school district. In fact, after being overwhelmed by a similar venue at a competition three states away, a group of show choir parents immediately began a study to see what they could do to build a state of the art performing arts center in their community. After years of never having enough seats in their own high school auditorium, the parents were determined to make sure that they were giving their kids a better venue.

High school kids love to perform. From show choir to orchestra to concert band to plays and musicals, today’s high school musicians and actors are committed to their craft. What they do not always have, however, is a venue that is big enough for their audiences. And while there are many plays and musicals that are fine in a high school auditorium, there are many times during a school year when the attendance for competitions far exceed any available current seating.

Community members who are seriously interested in doing something to raise money to build a new performing arts center in their area have many great reasons for their projects. In large school districts with several high schools, a state of the art performance venue can be shared by all of the schools. In a district with three high schools, for instance, the theater departments likely already make sure that their schedules do not conflict for performance weekends, so the biggest productions of the year could all be performed on the same stage.

Much like a district that shares a main football stadium in an effort to save facility costs, a school district’s performing arts center could be accessible to all schools. Less of a burden on any one school, this shared space can promote music and the arts throughout the entire community.

Funding Fine Arts Should be as Important as Funding High School Athletics
In addition to an auditorium like this serving as an amazing addition to the community, the students’ and parents’ ‘ experiences would improve dramatically, but a state of the art venue would certainly make the job of making professional recording of events easier to manage. With the latest lighting and sound systems, students could have the advantage of performing in a professional space.

The latest research shows that the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) estimates that the arts contribute $698 billion a year to the U.S. economy. Understanding that many of the professional actors and musicians got their start in high school, is should come as no surprise that a growing number of communities are willing to invest in professionally designed venues. A local venue also encourages future audiences as well. In fact, according to a 10 year NEA survey that started in 2002 and ended in 2012, Americans who went to performing arts events or museums as children were three to four times more likely to continue to attend as adults.

Every high school counselor and administrator knows that students who are engaged in extra curricular activities are more likely to be successful in school. And while there is a lot of attention and funds that go toward high school athletes, it is important to know that sports are not the only worthwhile activity. In fact, students who study art are four times more likely to be recognized for academic achievement and three times more likely to be awarded for school attendance rates, according to DoSomething.org.

When was the last time you attended a high school fine arts performance? If it has been awhile you likely do not understand the amount of talent on the small auditorium stages in schools across the country. These performances, however, attract many parents, grandparents, and community members. As a result, a growing number of schools are looking at a way to find private fundraising dollars to build high quality performing arts centers that can be used for plays, musicals, concerts, and show choir competitions. Are looking for a way to contribute to your local fine arts community? Is it time for your to make a donation?

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