Two Kansas City teens take stand for arts education on Capitol H - KCTV5

Two Kansas City teens take stand for arts education on Capitol Hill

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Two local high school seniors are taking a stand for arts education on Capitol Hill on Monday. (Americans for the Arts/Facebook) Two local high school seniors are taking a stand for arts education on Capitol Hill on Monday. (Americans for the Arts/Facebook)
KANSAS CITY, MO (KCTV) -

Two local high school seniors are taking a stand for arts education on Capitol Hill on Monday.

The two wrote essays about why arts and music education is so important in our schools. The essays were so good, they won a trip through Americans for the Arts.

"Arts education is important for education – for every student – for every day," Paseo Academy of Fine Arts senior Khalil Odums said.

That is what inspired Odum's essay and won him the big honor. He says he is thankful his school invests money into his passion.

Odum isn’t making the trip alone, one of his best friends, Ben Rauth, is on the flight too. Five hundred other students from across the country will join them.

The friends have performed in musicals and play since a young age. Through their time, they’ve developed a strong stance for the cause. They say it’s been tough to see school after school lose its music program.

"Arts is everywhere. It is in schools. It is in churches. It is all over the community. So completely cutting it is cutting the life blood of everyone. It hurts everyone," Rauth said.

The 30th annual Arts Advocacy Day aims to help increase public funding for the arts. They’ll receive advocacy training from experts and meet members of Congress. They'll also work to get funding for the National Endowment for the Arts, something that would be eliminated under President Donald Trump's new budget plan.

"We can talk about how we don’t want to cut the arts, and we can send letters, but now that we’re seeing them face-to-face, it is such a call to action. We’re getting up there," Rauth said.

The journey doesn’t stop in Washington DC. Next week, they’ll talk to local legislators in Jefferson City for Fine Arts Education Day.

They’ll make that trip with the Show-Me Arts group made up of local student advocates.

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