The Arts Are Underappreciated, but Not Unrecognized


Julia Tran

Putting yourself out there and creating something new is exposing your thoughts and feelings to the world, and that is a challenging task.

Brooklyn Chillemi, Staff Reporter

Rolling in crimson ketchup, getting sticky bubblegum on the bottoms of their shoes, stepping in breadcrumbs, all while avoiding areas of the floor that are covered in maple syrup from the previous lunch.

These are the things that aren’t often seen by others while our school dance team rehearses in our school cafeteria. But they go through it every Tuesday and Thursday while working vigorously at their craft.

Others leave trash in the theater after they eat, so later when artists go there to rehearse or build the set, they have to spend time cleaning up leftover lunch before they even begin their projects.

Unfortunately, many La Salle artists feel that the student body tends to overlook the arts and the effort that is put behind them. While our school’s arts may be recognized financially, sometimes the student appreciation of our artists’ hard work can feel nonexistent.

These creative programs are vital to our community because it gives students a real outlet for expressing themselves, especially with this current generation and our common struggles in mental health.

With everyone pushing themselves to work so hard on their academics in a college-prep school like La Salle, having a way for people to express themselves with art is something that can be extremely helpful for students when they’re feeling lost. These creative outlets are crucial to letting students express themselves and their emotions, but this can only happen if there’s a safe environment to do so.

Junior Olivia Galbraith, one of La Salle’s dance team captains, feel like there’s a difference between appreciation and recognition. “The arts are very much recognized in the school because we have the choir and guitar concerts, and the dance team has performed at assemblies and stuff, but I feel the aspect that maybe needs to be more represented is the part where people understand what it’s like,” Galbraith said.

Putting yourself out there and creating something new is exposing your thoughts and feelings to the world, and that is a challenging task. Getting on a stage in front of hundreds of people and performing a solo, presenting a monologue, or any other form of art is arduous, yet artists everywhere continue to do it everyday.

After one performance in our school gym, a few dance team members talked about how some students mocked them during and after their bows, flailing their arms in the air in an attempt to “mimic” the team. Junior Aislinn McCarthy, also a dance team captain, spoke out on social media about the dance team not being appreciated at La Salle after competing.

“I was fairly vocal about how dance was not being appreciated at La Salle,” McCarthy said. “We had a lot of support from our teachers and staff members and our close friends that understood the importance of dance and art, but for the people who kind of just look at dance, they mock us. They just think it’s the easiest thing in the world.”

However, participating in the arts isn’t as easy as it is imagined to be.

As someone who participates in the theater and choir programs at La Salle, there’s no denying that I love my work. It’s amazing to be able to find other people who enjoy creating things just as much as I do. However, it’s frustrating when that excitement is suffocated by others who don’t appreciate what we’re making.

Sophomore Hannah Reddick, who participates in the zero period choir and our theater program, feels strongly about advocating for representation in the arts. “I definitely think the arts need to be represented more at the school, especially when you compare them to sports,” Reddick said.

“They’re very underrepresented,” she said. “We had that entire mass about supporting the sports teams. I feel like as a school we should talk about arts more often like we do with sports or academics.”

Being able to express myself though choir and drama by growing in such a creative manner makes me feel like I matter and that I have something to give to the world.

“The sense of accomplishment that you get through improvement is something that I really, really like about art because I feel like sometimes if you’re using art to express yourself, you can get in a rut where you might not know how to express yourself,” Galbraith said. “So once you get past that point, and you see improvement, like in the way you sound or the way you look, or like the quality of what you’re doing, that’s really, really satisfying, but it’s also satisfying to know that you’ve gotten past something that was really challenging to you.”

We have masses celebrating the successes of our sports teams, but our artists aren’t even mentioned.

We pray over the intercoms and before every class period for the successes of our sports teams and for the improvements of our grades, but we rarely pray for our upcoming performances, our drying paintings, and our resounding music.

There is no reason we cannot celebrate the arts along with everything else we admire. This isn’t a matter of choosing one thing over another, it’s simply saying that the arts matter too and that they deserve appreciation in the community. La Salle students must incorporate the arts into our lives just as much as sports, academics, or anything else we provide education about at this school.