The arts have always played such a vital role in the advancement of civilisation. Whole cultures have been raised on the prevalence of their local arts, and it has served as one of the most effective ways to spread important messages.

“The arts” encompasses many different forms. There’s painting, sculpture, drawing, photography, computer graphics, dancing, performing arts, music etc.

It’s simply a fallacy to think that the arts is just for entertainment. It’s about creativity, originality, patience and discipline. Practicing in the arts increases intellect, relieves stress, and provides an outlet for people to be different, and to feel welcomed.

Sometimes, the school system can have a tendency to respect the arts less than the traditional areas of study and curriculum: namely sciences, numeracy and literacy. Of course, it is obvious that these play an important role in education too. But one cannot discount the importance of nurturing and fostering creative thinking in children.

Without creative thinking, very young children would never have learnt how to read and write – and it be similarly said that great inventors may have never created their masterpieces. The most amazing inventions come from creative thinking, which is a skill that is mastered through practicing the arts.

The age old adage that “you don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone” may very well apply to the arts one day. The Australian system of education is at risk of becoming increasingly utilitarian in its nature, rather than embracing the equal importance of the skills that can be mastered through exercising our imaginations.

Pablo Picasso famously said “Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up.” It is in combining creativity with research that the most monumental of problems are solved.

Respect the arts.