"If you hear a voice within you say 'you cannot paint',' then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced. -Vincent van Gogh

The Arts are crucial in the development of our young people. The Arts teach critical and creative thinking, problem-solving with multiple solutions, communication, confidence, and self-awareness. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, “employment of artists and related workers is expected to grow through 2024”, and “Artists held about 773,100 jobs in 2014.” As Albert Einstein said, “Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere.” 
-Mrs. Wilson, Oblong Art Teacher

"In this day in age, when we have made the switch from an industrial, more factory based past into the highly creative, inventive, and imaginative future with companies that can only last if they can feed the creative hunger that our society demands; it is time, that we equip our students with the skill to think of imaginative ideas, creative problem solving skills, and the artistic talent they will need to succeed in this new world that we live in. We need to make sure we create students who do not blindly listen to authority, and who can only arrive at one linear solution. We would be failing our students if we did not create in them the ability to see the world creatively, to see multiple creative answers to problems, to question the world around them, and to problem solve outside of the box. It is time for us to prepare our students to be able to survive in this world, a world where CEO's and companies are demanding creative, imaginative, and artistically talented individuals. If these companies cannot find these traits in our students, they will bring in people that do have these traits from other countries (and yes this is happening already). It is our job to prepare our students to succeed in the future, which means giving up the past and moving into the future of education, to give each student a future they can be proud of."
-Dr. Deborah Reeve

“It is in Apple’s DNA that technology alone is not enough—it’s technology married with liberal arts, married with the humanities, that yields us the results that make our heart sing.”
–Steve Jobs, in introducing the iPad 2 in 2011

“In my own philanthropy and business endeavors, I have seen the critical role that the arts play in stimulating creativity and in developing vital communities….the arts have a crucial impact on our economy and are an important catalyst for learning, discovery, and achievement in our country.”
–Paul G. Allen, Co-Founder, Microsoft

"The rapidly evolving global economy demands a dynamic and creative workforce. The arts and its related businesses are responsible for billions of dollars in cultural exports for this country. It is imperative that we continue to support the arts and arts education both on the national and local levels. The strength of every democracy is measured by its commitment to the arts.”
–Charles Segars, CEO of Ovation

“We need people who think with the creative side of their brains—people who have played in a band, who have painted…it enhances symbiotic thinking capabilities, not always thinking in the same paradigm, learning how to kick-start a new idea, or how to get a job done better, less expensively.”
–Annette Byrd, GlaxoSmithKline

"A broad education in the arts helps give children a better understanding of their world…We need students who are culturally literate as well as math and science literate."
–Paul Ostergard, Vice President, Citicorp

“Arts education aids students in skills needed in the workplace: flexibility, the ability to solve problems and communicate, the ability to learn new skills, to be creative and innovative, and to strive for excellence.”
– Joseph M. Calahan, Director of Cooperate Communications, Xerox Corporation

“GE hires a lot of engineers. We want young people who can do more than add up a string of numbers and write a coherent sentence. They must be able to solve problems, communicate ideas and be sensitive to the world around them. Participation in the arts is one of the best ways to develop these abilities.”
– Clifford V. Smith, President of the General Electric Foundation

"I believe that creativity will be the currency of the 21st century." – Gerald Gordon, Ph.D., President/CEO, Fairfax County (Virginia) Economic Development Authority

“Creativity is just connecting things. When you ask creative people how they did something, they feel a little guilty because they didn’t really do it, they just saw something. It seemed obvious to them after a while. That’s because they were able to connect experiences they’ve had and synthesize new things. And the reason they were able to do that was that they’ve had more experiences or they have thought more about their experiences than other people. Unfortunately, that’s too rare a commodity. A lot of people in our industry haven’t had very diverse experiences. So they don’t have lots of dots to connect, and they end up with very linear solution without a broad perspective on the problem. The broader one’s understanding of the human experience, the better design we will have.” –Steve Job