Arts education helps build ‘whole people,’ says singer Jessye Norman

BY Frank Carlson  May 30, 2014 at 12:29 PM EDT

Award-winning singer Jessye Norman has a problem with declining arts programs in America’s schools.

“It is a big issue and it makes me completely crazy,” Norman told correspondent Jeffrey Brown, when they sat down to discuss her new memoir, “Stand Up Straight and Sing.”

In that book she describes how, despite growing up in the segregated South, Norman’s family, church, and schools nurtured her interest in singing and provided the foundation for her later success.

Watch the video to hear more of Norman’s thoughts on the importance of arts education.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Chief arts correspondent Jeffrey Brown’s full interview with Jessye Norman will appear on Friday’s broadcast of the PBS NewsHour. Tune in on our Ustream channel at 6 p.m. EST or check your local listings.