JACKSON TWP.  Jackson Local Schools is one of four schools selected to be part of the 2017 Arts Day with the Ohio Arts Council. Eight freshman and sophomore students from Jackson High School will represent the district by traveling to Columbus on May 17 to make a presentation to state legislators. 

Three other districts will join them including Bedford High School, Dayton Regional Stem School and Piketon High School. Students from all four schools will spend the morning in Columbus speaking with legislators about the impact the arts have had on their lives. Students will also attend the Governor’s Awards for the Arts in Ohio and Arts Day luncheon.

Students were selected based on each individual’s interest in the arts and the legislative process, their ability to speak in public with individuals or small groups and their willingness to follow through with written assignments. The eight students from Jackson are freshman Kaitlyn Woolbert, Angelina Globokar and Ethan Frost and sophomores Joel Mostov, Lukas Livengood, Christine Parshall, Laynie Hartnett and Madyson Bostic.

Jackson students met with local arts professionals, members of the Ohio Citizens for the Arts, teachers, school board members and state Sen. Scott Oelslager on March 10 to practice their presentations and get feedback. Oelslager also took the time to share with the group details about his career and how the arts have impacted him.

"The arts make a social and a political statement, we are all surrounded by the arts," Oelslager said. "The car I drive is a piece of art. This table we are all sitting around is a work of art. The color we have in our clothing can be considered art. The arts move us and it’s been proven that being involved with arts increases creativity."

Oelslager said he is part of Ohio’s finance committee and is involved with the state’s budgeting process. He told the group that the amount included in the state’s budget for the arts is $29.6 million for the next two years.

Executive Director of Ohio Citizens for the Arts Bill Behrendt said the organization is hoping to increase that amount to $34 million for the next two years.

"Right now, Ohio’s creative industries comprise museums and collections, performing arts, visual arts and photography, film, radio and television and art schools and services," Behrendt said.

The arts industries generate $8.6 billion in employee wages with over 230,965 jobs. Arts contribute more than $31.8 billion to Ohio’s economy and generates $3.38 billion in federal, state and local tax revenues.

For more information on the Ohio Citizens for the Arts and the 2017 Arts Day, visit http://www.ohiocitizensforthearts.org/upcoming-events.