There are many reasons to make arts engagement opportunities more accessible in rural communities. Evidence gained from scientific research conducted throughout the past two decades indicates the important effect that music and the arts have on human growth and development, and how they improve, not only critical thinking, but social and emotional skills as well. This is true for people of all ages and backgrounds. Engaging within the arts, whether by experiencing it or creating it, has been shown to lower stress and improve memory and empathy. Importantly, participating in the arts also fosters community, as diverse participants build and share experiences together.
|Community: By interweaving the arts into the fabric of a community, rural towns are able to attract and retain diverse talent, increase civic engagement, improve community cohesiveness and promote economic growth.|
|Academics: Students who are engaged in the arts are 4X more likely to demonstrate improved academic performances in math, reading and writing.|
|Decision Making: The arts strengthen critical thinking skills in students of all ages, such as problem-solving, teamwork, communication and open-mindedness.|
|Preservation of Place: When citizens are engaged in the arts a community becomes a better place to live, work, and play.|
The University of Maine Augusta has been proud to advise Snow Pond Center for the Arts on the purchase and installation of distance learning technology. Connecting elementary and high school age students across our rural state to resources previously beyond their reach will provide them with additional pathways to higher learning and future success. - - Dr. Rebecca Wyke, President, University of Maine at Augusta