Letters to the Editor

Keep the Arts in Arts

To the Editor:
This week, upon reading The Phillipian, I was shocked and mildly disturbed by the article “The Secret Diary” in the Arts section of the paper. The article, an excerpt from a female student’s diary, described the author searching for her crush’s schedule and mapping out his prospective pathway routes. However, this was not what ultimately upset me. The content of the article was sweet and honest, if a little over-the-top; rather; I was stunned that the article had been included in the Arts section of the paper. As I reread the article, I could not fathom why the article was prominently featured in a section dedicated to covering Arts at Phillips Academy and beyond. The differing of opinions and interests of the student body is clearly a huge asset of this school. I believe that these differences are reflected in the readership of The Phillipian. Admittedly, I rarely make it through Sports section, while I routinely read all of the Arts section. This practice is not a reflection on the individual quality of the sections, but of my own interests. Consequently, I am sure that I am in the minority; many more people are excited to read the weekly news of our sports teams. Routinely, I hear people exclaim that the Arts section has the lowest readership of any section in The Phillipian. Naturally, the editors have made an effort to make the section more appealing the masses with pieces like “The Secret Diary.” However, my perception is that those who regularly read Arts are interested in reading about just that: the arts. When I was younger, I fondly remember stealing the Arts & Leisure section from my father’s edition of the Sunday New York Times. My sly theft never caused any family spats; my father was always too busy with the Sunday Business section to gripe about my swiping Arts & Leisure. The reason for my eagerness was that the articles inside usually were usually fascinating. An examination of a new theatrical production in which actors perform short scenes for audiences of one? Captivating! An inside look at a new dance troupe? Great! A review of a new painter’s work? Remarkable! Each week, I still look forward to reading these types of features on Sunday. However, many people would find reading those types of articles absolutely excruciating. My point is that while the readership of Arts might be smaller than other sections of the paper, us readers are truly dedicated to reading about arts at Andover. We have such a rich pool of diverse arts here at Phillips Academy, from exhibits at the Addison to performances by our many orchestral groups, from special theatrical events and workshops to world dance classes, focused on teaching dancers of all levels such styles as salsa and swing. With all of these things happening simultaneously happening on campus, I am anxious to hear my peers’ opinions on upcoming arts events or growing arts trends. And I know that while I may not be speaking for the majority of the student body, I believe that I do accurately reflect the opinion of the committed readers of the Arts section. The purpose of this letter is not to discredit the admirable work of Arts editors. I only wish to encourage them to provide us readers with more substantial subjects because, although the readership of Arts may not be wildly expansive, we readers are just as dedicated and interested as the readers of any other section of the paper. Thank you for your reporting in the past and I look forward to reading Arts in future editions of The Phillipian. Sincerely, Lucas McMahon ’08