Chicago’ reminds us why arts are important

ULM Hawkeye

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The dazzling display of song and dance from last week’s ‘Chicago’ prove art still holds great value, even in times of tight budgets.
Too often when money is tight, arts are the first thing to go. The argument, of course, is it is often difficult to quantify the value of art or how it translates to jobs.
Just because art’s value is hard to quantify, doesn’t mean the value does not exist.
In truth, some things can’t be quantified. No one can put a number on the lessons the cast learned in producing “Chicago.” Team work, time management, endless hours of practice, delivering live in front of a crowd and reaching inside to find the best part of yourself – all necessary things to reach the level of success “Chicago” reached.
If you think about it, those character-building lessons learned in the theater are not unlike those learned on the playing field. Yet, athletics is generally protected, even in times of financial difficulty.
It’s important to note that the arts are not immediately on the chopping block. However, a situation will inevitably occur where money gets really tight. When that happens, people look straight to the stage, the canvas and the potter’s wheel for ways to save a buck.
When those times occur, the powers that be should look back to “Chicago.” They should look at how art students mastered the complicated routines in the show, how the audiences beamed with excitement at watching something live and real, and how the Monroe and ULM communities bonded over the play.
They should remember there’s more to life than a bottom line.