Children are artists by instinct. They sing and dance, draw and shape, mime and narrate without prompting. As they grow up, they need instruction and encouragement to harness those instincts. By studying the arts, they can learn to feed their own imaginations and the imaginations of others.

They need to find that instruction and encouragement in school, because that is where they spend enough time, day after day, in collaboration with their peers, under skilled guidance, to develop those arts.

With good arts training in school, a few of our children can become the next Abdi Nor Iftin or Elizabeth Strout or Patrick Dempsey, and all of them can develop the artistic skill and confidence to perform at the Community Little Theater or sing their own songs to local audiences, or design gardens and decorations for their homes, or websites for their businesses, or get up and speak at public meetings.

In the Lewiston public schools we have the teachers and programs to make this happen, but not the facilities. On Election Day, Nov. 5, the voters of Lewiston can address this deficit by voting to expand Lewiston High School with a new wing that includes teaching spaces for the arts.

James Parakilas, Lewiston

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