ARTS FOR CIVIC ENGAGEMENT
Students may compete in three categories:
American democracy requires robust political participation: voting, holding representatives accountable, and ensuring that government represents the people. A society lacking in citizen participation is more prone to inefficiency, corruption, and unresponsive government. Texas ranks among the lowest states in the country in citizen political participation.
- Only 33% of registered voters in Texas voted in the 2014 midterm elections.
- Texas ranked 47th nationally in voter turnout in 2016.
- Young Texans fare worse: only 32% of 18-24 year-olds voted in the 2016 election, compared to 69% of citizens over the age of 65.
The program aims to combat these dismal statistics by preparing Texas high school students to take civic leadership positions in generating public awareness on the importance of voting and using their artistic skills to reshape perspectives on civic responsibility. Texas civic life needs an infusion of innovation from young people and art is a powerful cultural tool to deliver their messages and inspire action.