U of A donation pushing art education in Arkansas

School of art being established at U of A thanks to donation

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) -- A school of art is being established at the University of Arkansas thanks to a donation of $120 million dollars.

The gift is great news for the growing number of students who are expressing interest in the arts. At the Arkansas Arts Center in Little Rock they believe arts and culture are important to education according to Tom Herman, Executive Director at the Arkansas Arts Center.

"Think outside the box and that's what the arts does for young people.  It allows them to explore their creativity and think of things that don't currently exist," he said. "Certainly revolutionizes the arts in Arkansas."

Herman said the multi-million dollar donation to create the first and only art school in Arkansas will help establish artistic communities across the state. He said the Arkansas Arts Center has seen a renewed interest from younger people who want to study the arts.

"Particularly tech companies, is they want that liberal arts education, they want you to be able to think creatively, they want you to go beyond what is already known, think outside the box and that's what the arts does for young people," Herman said.

Herman believes that all students should study and observe art. He said art education allows students to learn without the fear of getting something wrong and allows them to take risks in the classroom.

"We know that studies tell us over and over again how it improves their self-esteem.  That's one of the great things about the arts and about creativity, there really isn't a wrong answer," he said.

The donation is the largest ever given to a U.S. university to support or establish an art school. It will be the first in the state.

© 2017 KTHV-TV


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