Culture Connections With Dr. Sheri Parks: The Cost of Cutting The Arts | WYPR

Culture Connections With Dr. Sheri Parks: The Cost of Cutting The Arts

Mar 7, 2017

Dr. Sheri Parks is an Associate Dean for Research, Interdisciplinary Scholarship and Programming at the College of Arts and Humanities at the University of MD College Park, where she is also an Associate Professor in the Department of American Studies.
Credit Sheri Parks

Today, a conversation about public funding of the arts, and how federal, state and local budgets reflect the priorities of President Donald Trump, Governor Larry Hogan, and Mayor Catherine Pugh. 

The National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities are two of 17 federal agencies that appear to be targeted by the Trump administration for elimination, as its budget inclinations lean heavily toward defense spending. The state of Maryland funded arts institutions at the highest level ever last year, and the Governor has proposed an additional $1 million this year, bringing the allocation for the arts to $21 million in Fiscal Year 2018. Ironically, Baltimore City Schools are facing drastic cuts. Principals looking to trim expenses, may have to make cuts to music and visual arts programs. 

An organization called Arts Every Day is holding a symposium this weekend that will call attention to the role that arts education plays in boosting attendance, improving test scores and making schools vibrant parts of their communities.

Tom and Dr. Sheri Parks speak with arts educators and advocates about what the arts can do for kids and their families. They also talk about the cost of funding arts programs and if that cost is worth it when belts are being tightened locally and nationally. 

Dr. Sheri Parks is an Associate Dean for Research, Interdisciplinary Scholarship and Programming at the College of Arts and Humanities at the University of Maryland College Park, where she is also an Associate Professor in the Department of American Studies.  She’s the author of Fierce Angels: Living with a Legacy from the Sacred Dark Feminine to the Strong Black Woman.

Phoebe Stein is the executive director of Maryland Humanities

Mary Ann Mears is a sculptor who does public art and the founder and a trustee of Arts Education in Maryland Schools Alliance (AEMS) and a member of the Steering Committee of the Baltimore Arts Education Coalition.

Paige Hernandez is a  performer, director, choreographer, playwright and master teaching artist. To date, she has reached thousands of students, from Pre-K through college, in over 100 residencies, workshops and performances.

On Saturday March 11 Arts Every Day will hold a their 10th Anniversary symposium at the Baltimore Design School. (1500 Barclay Street, Baltimore, MD 21202.) The event begins at 8:30a.m.

Sheri Parks will be moderating a panel called "Arts Practitioners: How We Transcend Our Silos." It starts at 1:30pm. Paige Hernandez will be a keynote speaker. The symposium is open to the public.