Check out the essay supporting the need for education in the arts: http://www.edutopia.org/arts-music-curriculum-child-development. My favorite thought comes from Tom Horne, Arizona's state superintendent of public instruction: "When you think about the purposes of education, there are three. We're preparing kids for jobs. We're preparing them to be citizens. And we're teaching them to be human beings who can enjoy the deeper forms of beauty. The third is as important as the other two."
Also..."Involvement in the arts is associated with gains in math, reading, cognitive ability, critical thinking, and verbal skill. Arts learning can also improve motivation, concentration, confidence, and teamwork. A 2005 report by the Rand Corporation about the visual arts argues that the intrinsic pleasures and stimulation of the art experience do more than sweeten an individual's life...'connect people more deeply to the world and open them to new ways of seeing,' creating the foundation to forge social bonds and community cohesion."