Archives of Rudolph W. Giuliani

Mayor's WINS Address
Sunday, May 10, 1998

Arts Education Week Celebrates Creativity -
and Helps Inspire Our Children to Be Their Best

by Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani

The artistic and cultural life of New York will come wonderfully alive this week for hundreds of thousands of the City's schoolchildren thanks to Arts Education Week. During the week of May 18 - 22, over 1200 different events will involve more than 129 cultural institutions with more than 500 schools all across the City.

I've always believed that teaching the arts should be a top educational priority - not relegated to the fringes of the curriculum, but integrated into all our classrooms as a central subject. After all, learning about art is as important to kids' development as learning about English, math, science or history. Because when we spark our children's creativity and teach them to appreciate artistic expression created by themselves and others, we're giving them the permanent tools to enrich their own lives and inspire themselves to be their best.

That's why, over the last few years, we have been committed to restoring arts education throughout our public school system. We've already provided over 400 schools across the City with more than 400 new art and music teachers. And this fiscal year, we've proposed doubling the City's investment to this important initiative to $50 million.

The City's cultural institutions are doing their part by giving their time and energy to this effort. For example, just last month, the Museum of Modern Art announced plans to expand their education programs to every school in the city. And earlier this year, I announced a major new partnership that will bring the talent and resources of the Metropolitan Opera to our schools.

In New York City of all places, we should be especially committed to building a world-class arts education system. After all, we're the artistic and cultural capital of the world - in music, painting, sculpture, dance, theater, opera, photography, performance art, architecture, and so many other forms of expression.

That's what happens when millions of the most talented and creative people on the planet come together in one metropolitan area. The works of beauty that they create not only enrich the lives of people throughout their city, but promise to be a precious legacy to future generations of people around the world.

And in addition to being so important culturally and spiritually to the lives of millions of people, the arts are economically indispensable to the City. They are a thriving industry that employs thousands and thousands of New Yorkers in creative, technical, administrative and managerial work. Our children should be aware not only of the beauty created by the art world, but of all the exciting career opportunities available to them.

Arts Education Week, and our program to permanently restore arts education to our schools, will secure this heritage for future generations and help to ensure that New York remains the most creative and successful city in the world well into the 21st Century.

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