LANSING — House Democratic Leader state Rep. Sam Singh (D-East Lansing) held his third art competition for students from participating schools in the 69th district. This year’s theme was “Michigan’s Changing Seasons.” The winners include high school seniors Hailey Smithingell and Kate Horst from Haslett High School, and senior Dalal Elbast and sophomore Celia Spink from Okemos High School. Their artwork will be on display for all staff and visitors to see in Rep. Singh’s Capitol office for the next year.

“It is inspiring to see the artistic ability demonstrated by our community’s students,” Singh said. “Visitors in our office frequently stop to comment and admire the remarkable talent displayed by these students. With this type of feedback, we were very excited to host another competition this year.”

In the last few years, art programs in public schools across Michigan have seen a drastic decline in funding. Due to a strong collaboration between parents and the community, art programs that remain have endured despite fiscal limitations. Art education can inspire students to create and express themselves. Competitions like the one held by Rep. Singh’s office encourages creativity and help foster visionary thinkers in the community, while displaying the importance of supporting the arts in our schools and students.

“We need to continue to advocate for the preservation of art programs in our public schools. These programs are an excellent method to boost student confidence, innovativeness and creativity, which can lead to higher levels of academic achievement,” Singh added.