Thursday, March 10, 2011

Art Advocacy

I posted the Ten Lessons the Arts Teach yesterday.  As each day brings devastating news regarding the state budget and funding I continue to worry.  Perhaps as art teachers we need to learn to be better advocates of the arts. 

Within my classroom I try on a daily basis to emphasize the importance of the arts and make connections to other subject areas.  I wonder if our students understand the importance of the arts and how it touches their lives on a daily basis?  I'm not just talking about the visual arts but performing arts as well. 

Every thing we use on a daily basis is touched by an artist.  Every product you purchase is created by an artist. Your shampoo bottle, your towels, your furniture, your clothing, your jewelry, your Wii games.....  Someone out there is the creative person who has spent time designing and creating all of the things. Imagine a movie, a television show, a PSP game that didn't have music.We need art and music in our classrooms and  in our schools.  Children need art. 

I was a child who struggled in academics.  I always did well but it was with extra effort and time.  I am grateful for the dedication of my parents and teachers for pushing me, encouraging me and helping me.  Art was my creative outlet;  it was the reason I went to school.  I knew that if I made it through my other classes that I could spend some time painting, drawing, throwing pots.  Without my art classes I wonder how well I would have done in school. 

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