Foster Learning in the Arts…Foster Innovation and Advancement

I occasionally read a blog by Alyson Stanfield that she writes for artists looking for advice on how to grow their entrepreneurial businesses. Last week, she posted a blog that i really wanted to share with you and i'm just getting around to it now. She references another blog posting on the site for Psychology Today by Michele and Robert Root-Bernstein titled “A Missing Piece of the Economic Stimulus: Hobbling Arts Hobbles Innovation.” I wanted to share the whole article with you, but unfortunately, it doesn't seem to be posted on the Psychology Today site any longer…so i'll just have to share the upshot with you.

I've stated before in this blog that one of my goals for 2009 is to start an Arts Education Initiative. This article makes the perfect argument for just such initiatives to be taking place all over the country. It seems that arts education is always one of the first things to get cut in school budgets…and with the current economic situation, it's happening every day. The article in Psychology Today points out just how criminal that really is. Artists are innovators…they are creative…they think outside the box….and many with “artistic” minds turn into some of the most talented technologists and scientists and inventors. If we stop nurturing that part of the brain, we'll lose an entire generation of thinkers. It's scary to think about.

Leonardo da Vinci is one case in point. He was revered as much for his scientific accomplishments and theories as he was for his artistic talents. Artists have designed architectural marvels, promoted advancements in engineering and robotics, have contributed to sociological study, and much, much more. We can't afford to ignore this type of thinking…this type of learning. That's my cause for this year and I'll be talking about it a lot more.

I've created the skeleton for the “Fazzino Arts Education Initiative” and soon i hope i'll have the occassion to share it with you….i hope to raise awareness, educate, and of course, raise funds for worthy arts education programs. I'll keep you posted.

–Charles

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4 responses to “Foster Learning in the Arts…Foster Innovation and Advancement”

  1. adam svedberg says:

    I think this is a great idea! I’m actually just approaching graduation with a BFA and was thinking the same thing! I went to a private high school and had all sorts of exposure to art and felt that the parents and the community got left out of this whole scene. I found that their kids were interested in it, but the parents–less so. I understand that if we really push the kids to learn about art, then the next generation will be more “in to it” (for lack of a better phrase after just waking up), but I really feel as if the parents need to be introduced to it as well, so that their children are more likely to engage in it. (otherwise, introducing children to art to further their artistic development will increase too slowly) Parents miss out on this because the only kind of art they are introduced to is finger painting, face painting, etc. They get the wrong impression of what art can accomplish because of the stupid little things that they let their children do at fairs and such.

    I had this dream, for a while now, that I could start a school that held many art workshops, or maybe not a school, so much as an institution, that exposed adults to pure art mediums (regular workshops) and to how art should be taught in school (you learn a new skill, you problem-solve using that skill, you link the skill to other school-related subjects and or real world encounters). I also want this institution to be community orientated.

    I’m not sure if I’m being clear right now, or if I’m even saying what I want to fully say, but I want the take-home message to be: I agree. I think that on some front adults (mainly parents) should have almost an equal exposure to art and how it is taught in schools so that they KNOW why art is important, how it can help their child to succeed, and how it can be used as a hobbie for therapeutic effects. Parents should get an equal focus so that as time passes, children will have more of an opportunity (because of the pro-art decisions parents make) to be exposed to art, thus accomplishing our shared goal of helping children and young adults be more creatively intelligent, faster or at least more efficiently.

    –>On a side note, I also think there are parents out there (how many I don’t know, but I’d like to conduct an experiment to find out) that think “starving artist” whenever the hear the word art, and look at art as a dead-end road for a career (which is a big deal considering that we are an occupation-focused country, as opposed to an education focus, like in China). Because of that mindset, they don’t want their children to pursue art in any kind of serious way. Either they don’t want their children to pursue it, or they don’t think it warrants enough value to be any more than a time waster.

  2. Jmaner says:

    Interesting thoughts Adam!
    One response i have is regarding the “starving artist” mentality..i think you’re right but i also think, unfortunately, that the art community itself often propogates that notion…..there is this oxymoronic notion in the elite art community that the only way you CAN be a successful artist is to be “starving.” Part of arts education ought to be to dispell that fallacy!

  3. phil zimmerman says:

    hi charles & co. i was thinking locally about nerdel & contacting local school board with havin like a contest for phys. fitness with winner getting a signed poster! then saw your art iniative & felt it might fall in with that! then thought it might be too expensive for national type thing but with 50 winners gettin to meet you personally? just me dreaming in my crazy mind phil ps eye surgery scheduled for monday! maybe i’ll get to see what all your art looks like!

  4. comforter down says:

    I understand that if we really push the kids to learn about art, then the next generation will be more “in to it” (for lack of a better phrase after just waking up), but I really feel as if the parents need to be introduced to it as well, so that their children are more likely to engage in it.

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