The Battle Between the Arts
By Bernie Michel
Much like how high schools treat football as its prize possession, many MSA students feel as if dance, choir, and theater overshadow the rest of the other programs. Smaller classes like ceramics and creative writing are not shown the same love and attention as the top money makers. Not often do you see a poster for a poetry slam around the school, or anyone ranting or raving about ceramics like they do when it comes to the new plays. Many would want to know whose fault that is and the cause behind it.
CC Trifoso, a four-year creative writing student, thinks MSA treats certain forms of art as lesser than others. When asked if she thinks that arts such as theater, dance, and choir overshadow hers she said “They definitely do.”
“They get a lot of the benefits,” said Trifoso.
Most of the money, attention, and promotion goes to those main arts. This is not just an opinion, but actually a fact. MSA Director Peter Ornstein described the discrepancy of funds.
“Creative writing gets about three grand,” said Ornstein. “Dance, on the other hand, gets $28,800.”
Ornstein explained that this drastic difference in funding is mainly due to the fact that renting lights and stage equipment for big productions is costly. That may be because dance puts on four solo projects per year, while creative writing only really performs in the annual showcase. Other group performances just recently got added into performing at the MSA Soiree.
All programs should have the fair chance to shine and have their own individual moments. It would be best for MSA to share the spotlight, allowing all arts to seem equally important, instead of just a select few.
Most people would say that dance, theater, and choir get the most attention because they bring in the most money. Trifoso believes this can be fixed.
“I think if they shined more light on the creative lighting program we can definitely bring in money,” Trifoso said.
If given the chance to shine, many other forms of art could have the opportunity to not only bring in money but also inspire people to join MSA and express themselves also.
In addition, it's not just the funding that is unjust in the MSA program, but the overall treatment as well. When asked about attending events like a Soiree, Trifoso said “most of the creative writing classes don't really go because it doesn't really feel like it's about us too.”
The MSA program should be making sure that all students feel included. Every MSA student needs to feel like their art matters. It is important for all of the art programs to receive attention, like it was meant to be. More should be done for the smaller forms of art and this change should be done sooner rather than later before arts like creative writing, ceramics, and film cease to exist.