Opinion: Expense of the arts


Kenya Lee, Review Staff

Feature photo by: Kenya Lee- Sophomores Faith Lesher and Emily Barents work on their final art projects in drawing three and four. The increasing amount of students enrolled in the art programs may cause a problem for budgeting in the future.

Art. It runs through people’s veins; it is the reason many are able to express their anger, sadness, pain, or happiness; it allows people to portray their emotions as beauty. Without art, we, as humanity, would have nothing. Art is clearly very important and influential; however, at Rangeview High School many believe, as I once did, that the arts are underfunded and underappreciated. After a lot of thinking and research on the issue, I now realize that it is not underfunded and everyone is simply fighting the same battle.

The Art Department has been apart of RHS since the school was established in 1984, and we have a variety of classes that take place in this cool and upbeat department. The department includes photography, drawing, jewelry, and ceramics. Let’s just say, artistic talent can be found everywhere and anywhere around RHS.

Junior Samantha Hartman, like many artists at RHS, believes that the athletic teams at Rangeview are more privileged than the Art Department.

“I can see it with my own eyes,” explained Hartman. “The football teams, the soccer teams, any team like that…they get fundings and buses and stuff like that and the music program, we don’t get the money for that. We have to pay for that ourselves to go to little competitions or little shows… we end up having to cancel which is unfair because every time the football team has to go somewhere…they get a bus…”

Our football team is one of the biggest things that we, as a school, take pride in. They also contribute to the high amount of spirit at RHS and get a lot of attention, but is it possible that many students who don’t care for football — like

Varsity football player holds up football jersey during class. The Rangeview football team hasn't had new jerseys in over six years. (Kenya Lee)
Varsity football player holds up football jersey during class. The Rangeview football team hasn’t had new jerseys in over six years. (Kenya Lee)

me — may be completely jealous for something we may not know anything about? Could we, as a student body, simply be stuck on the old assumption that football is more important than our creativity in the art world? This could definitely be true, but when it comes to funding, there’s more to the story.

Rangeview football coach, Mr. Hoffman, explained that the assumption that football is overfunded is nothing but a common misconception.

While I used to believe that the football team is over privileged because they always have buses ready for each game, he informed me that the team hasn’t gotten new jerseys in six years. Hoffman also expressed his affection towards the RHS Art Department.  

“I like it a lot,” claimed Hoffman. “With the football program, I asked a couple of the art teachers if they would wanna do a fundraiser where our football guys would come in and do, like, an art thing after school. Like draw an ‘RR’ or something like that.”

Junior Keshawn Bradshaw, who is actively involved in both art and sports this year (being a part of drawing 3, drawing 4, show choir, and the manager of the girls lacrosse team), claimed that providing more funding for the Art Department would be a “good place to start”.

“Being in the Art Department, there is so much creativity being used,” said Bradshaw. “If there was any more need for money, I feel like that would be a good place to start because everyone needs a way to get their creativity out.”

Some people would like to draw but they haven’t thought about taking the class due to the fees of $20 for semester and $40 for a year. With that in mind, limitations may have occurred in the setback of not being able to attend the classes.

Sophomore Abel Mesfin began to work on a photography project. Students have to pay $50 dollars in order to be in the class.
Sophomore Abel Mesfin began to work on a photography project. Students have to pay $50 in order to be in the class.

Many students question these fees and again comes back to questions about why football or other sports may get more funding. But football players pay $60 to play and do fundraising throughout the season, and some argue they have the right to more money because they bring in more profit.

Art student Hartman believes that the arts have potential to bring in funds as well.

“Just because the football team brings in more money… they aren’t the only ones that can bring money. If we perform, we could ask for donations,” she explained.

Senior Kristine McGuire has a slightly different take on the uneven distribution of funds.

“I think they (the football team) do get a little more money than the rest of us and other parts of the school mostly because they need and have more expenses to pay for the buses,” said McGuire. She later described the amount of money given to the Art Department as being “pretty good.”

Mr. Riggins has been apart of RHS for 11 years now, working as head of the Art Department for five years and having taught every class offered within the department.

Riggins expressed that he also supports the football team and says if students really value art, they can find a way to pay the fees.

“In the Art Department, our students pay for their supplies, which is huge, “explained Riggins. “So, unlike other schools, we have students who are able to pay and have taken on a challenging class. The cheapest fee we have is $15 a semester and $30 for a year… and the highest one is $100 for the year… if you can afford an iphone, you can afford an art fee.”

RHS provides the Art Department with a supply budget of $3,000 to $4,900, according to Riggins. However, Riggins also insisted that if there was a need for money, the administrator and the school would find a way to get it in the end.

Everyone within the system is fighting for the same thing: money. There can never really be enough to go around, but, Rangeview High School does their best in order to distribute money fairly amongst all school programs. In the end, the Art Department is not alone in their battle for funding — the question now is, will the art students take up themselves to fundraise?