We need to stop thinking of "the arts" as a separate entity that we get to enjoy after work is done.
"The Arts" should not be thought of as a supplement, icing on the cake or a cherry on top of a "well-rounded education." STEAM instead of STEM if you're lucky and have a budget.
They are essential, but only not because they allow you to see beauty in the world or be inspired or show you what could be - though of course these are tangible benefits.
Practicing "the Arts" (in school or at home) is an opportunity to engage with the act of creation.
This practice is essential because there is no such thing as a non-artist. Art is something that is created. We all create, so we are all artists. Every day we create a meal, an outfit, a game, a workout, a route to work, a presentation, a party, a schedule, a family, a day. a life.
Working in "the arts" in schools or alone (visual, music, theater, dance, writing, etc.) allows us to look at the act of creation - the method, the technique, the context, the result - and learn from the process.
This has absolutely nothing to do with "talent" or being an artistic kid or a musical kid versus a sports kid. This thinking is not useful. Creating is not reserved for the chosen - we all do it.
An entrepreneur is without question an artist. How the hell don't politicians see this? Or school administrators? Where do they think all of the great ideas come from?
Art is creation. We are all artists. "Arts Education" allows us to engage in this process more deeply.