WILMINGTON — Ohio Speaker of the House Cliff Rosenberger (R-Clarksville) recently met with Wilmington High School students to enjoy a presentation of the visual arts and to congratulate Wilmington arts students, Brittany Barnett, Brooke Blakeman, Caleb Beck, Allie Garnai, Matt Keiter and Ryan Oates on being selected to participate in the Ohio Citizens for the Arts celebration taking place in Columbus on May 18.
Each year the Ohio Citizens of the Arts Foundation co-presents the Governor’s Awards for the Arts in Ohio and Arts Day with the Ohio Arts Council. As part of the day, Ohio high schools are invited to participate in the Student Advocates program, a unique educational opportunity that teaches students about the public policy process and how to be an effective advocate.
In honor of his visit, student advocates led Rosenberger on a tour throughout the hallways and media center where visual arts students displayed their works, showcasing and celebrating their talents.
Rosenberger then met up with students in the high school auditeria where he fielded a few questions and shared his thought on the arts programs.
Speaking as a private citizen, Rosenberger shared that he believed that “in all cases, the arts have to be sustained whether we are in good times or bad times. And, it is extremely important, especially for not only our youth but for our senior citizens, to always help their creativity, to keep sparking, and to keep going. Because at the end of the day, it is that creativity that strives innovation, and it is that innovation in many ways that can strive entrepreneurship and businesses, that create jobs and helps not only our economies but helps our local areas become great places to live and work and increases the quality of life that makes people happy.”
When asked if he felt that the study of the arts was just as important as science and math, Rosenberger responded by saying, “Absolutely” and that like Governor Kasich, he too believes it should not be STEM, which stands for science; technology; engineering; and math but STEAM, which includes an equal focus on the arts.
While Rosenberger’s visit centered on the visual arts, the district has also been celebrating the performing arts, hosting several choral and instrumental concerts.
Wilmington High School’s Arts Delegates will travel to Columbus on May 18 to spend the morning speaking with legislators about the impact the arts have had on their lives. In the afternoon, students will attend the 2016 Governor’s Awards for the Arts in Ohio and Arts Day Luncheon, where this year’s award recipients will be honored and Ohio legislators will be recognized for their support and culture.
Information for this article was provided by Diana Miller, who coordinates communications for several area schools.