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Overlooking the Arts: More Time for Creativity at Marlborough

Graphic by Christina '14
Graphic by Christina ’14.

We at The UltraViolet (UV) believe that Marlborough girls do not have time for the arts because academic classes already consume our spare time. We believe that the administration should make more time for students to pursue the arts by implementing more conventional and institutional changes. The School has recently purchased new equipment for the filmmaking classes and is in the midst of conducting extensive renovations in both the Caryll Mudd Sprague Performing Arts Center hallway and Caswell Hall, but will these expenditures help girls create more time for the arts, or will they merely be wasting resources that could be spent on more useful renovations?

Most girls, with a load of five AP classes, do not have time to use the newly purchased art equipment. In addition, the Performing Arts Department has seen an increasing number of seniors, and occasionally juniors, dropping their art courses in order to focus their academic careers. Girls are too concentrated in focusing on the constant college hype to allot some of their time to art. However, art can be an outlet for stress, which is something that Marlborough girls seem to have too much of. The School should create more time for the arts because it is crucial for every girl to have a balanced high school experience. After all, studies have shown that students who participate in the artsscore higher on standardized tests like the SAT and are four times more likely to be acknowledged for academic achievement.

We suggest that the administration start with a small shift away from a primarily academic mindset to one that encourages a more balanced course of study. Perhaps allotting more academic weight to the arts would emphasize them as a more important part of the School’s curriculum. At an academically rigorous school like Marlborough it is easy to forget that arts can be a haven from tests and quizzes. A small and simple cultural shift away from a life of “study, study, study” would help to remind students that there is such a thing as time to express oneself in dance or theater or painting.

Another solution could be to increase arts requirements, forcing girls to participate in more semesters of art.  Right now, girls must have four credits of art to graduate. Although Marlborough already has more arts requirements than other private schools in the area, such as Loyola High School and Marymount High School, more arts requirements would inevitably mean that more students would get to utilize the equipment that the School purchases and the facilities that the School renovates. Renovating and buying new equipment for an increased enrollment in the arts is definitely a better use of resources than buying equipment for only one class of girls to use. On the other hand, though, increasing arts requirements could make art seem like just another year-long class that a Marlborough girl has to get through to graduate.

If the School were to implement small changes that would lead to significant cultural shifts, we believe that Marlborough girls would be willing and able to devote more time to the arts.