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US actress Antonique Smith poses during

Entertainer Antonique Smith joined Roland Martin to discuss her upcoming album and work to restore music programs in schools through VH1’s Save the Music.

You may know Smith from Broadway’s Rent or from her role as Faith Evans in 2009′s Notorious, but she’s also engaged in the fight to rebuild arts programs in our nation’s public schools. Smith calls arts instruction a fundamental issue within education.

“[The arts] help you to become a more well-rounded person,” she says. “It helps your brain. It just helps you learn. I feel like music is the soundtrack to our lives, so I feel like people wouldn’t develop the same way that we developed because we had music in school. I played the recorder. I played the bells. Actually, that’s how I got my start. That’s where I got my initial practice as a singer and an actress.”

Listen to more of Smith’s interview below and hear a bit of her new single.

Be sure to listen to “NewsOne Now” with Roland Martin, weekdays at 7 a.m. EST and watch at 9 a.m. EST on TV One.

‘Notorious’ Star Advocates for Arts in Schools  was originally published on