At Brooklyn Center High School, performing and visual arts are a prominent part of the school's curriculum.
"It offers a lot of kids a chance to be creative and to be problem solvers in a supportive environment," said Brooklyn Center teacher Chloe Cotherman.
Centaur students who are part of the school band take great pride in their work.
"To be able to connect and make music is something I really enjoy," said BCHS senior Olufemi Akindumi. "If I am having a bad day or I am stressed out I can pick up my clarinet and play my problems away."
Being in the band gives these students a chance to express themselves in a positive way.
"It allows students to have a program that they take pride in and to feel success with," said band instructor Michael Reed. "It allows them to create a large group product that is different than many of our other courses that are very individual based."
At some schools being a band member can be costly, but not at Brooklyn Center. If a kid wants to join the band, money is not a deal breaker.
"We provide the instrument, the supplies and the lessons to our students at no charge," Reed said.
There is also a focus on visual arts, such as drawing, photography and theater.
"I think it's really essential," Cotherman said. "I think that art is not an extra."
Cotherman believes the arts helps encourage students to become free thinkers and pursue their passions.
"We need people who think outside of the box and look for creative solutions and who know how to persist when encountering difficulties," she said.
Eric Nelson, firstname.lastname@example.org