I spent this afternoon at the Art Squared art festival in San Marcos and had the opportunity to meet some wonderful artists and musicians. Art is a vital part of society, and I believe that strong arts programs are a necessity, not an “extra”, in our public schools.

My husband and I were both involved in music throughout school (I played viola and sang in several choirs; Trey played trumpet in the band). Firsthand, I can say art classes were some of my favorites. Even more than just being a creative outlet though, arts education is shown to improve student performance. Students involved in arts programs have higher GPA’s, decreased drop out rates and increased standardized test scores – this goes across socioeconomic lines.

Despite this, in the 2017 Legislative session, the Texas Commission for the Arts saw a budget reduction of 28%! This is unacceptable and something I pledge to address in the next session.

For more information about the Texas Commission for the Arts, visit: http://www.arts.texas.gov

A special thank you to the various artists who took time to speak to me today: Christopher T F Hanson of SMART Orchestra, July Moreno of Mermaid Society SMTX, Christine Terrell of adaptive reUseTracy Weinberg, and Karen Muñoz.