Arts education is my passion and I believe a solution to most problems in the world.
I could stop there, but I won’t.
I am fortunate to lead a team of arts educators and administrators that are committed to a vision and definition of arts education that insists on quality, engagement, and partnerships to sustain.
- Arts and arts education are essential to human development.
- Arts are vital to the life of the community.
- The measure of our culture lives in the art we value and pass on to our children.
- Art is personal; art changes lives.
Through professional leadership, adherence to standards of excellence, responsiveness to our constituents, and uncompromising dedication to principals of inclusion, The Hoffman Institute provides a dynamic resource to all segments of the community for life-long experience, exploration, discovery, and mastery of the performing arts.
Our educational philosophy follows that vision as we believe that the performing arts are integral to human development and essential to the quality of life of a community. Furthermore, quality programming engages the community as a whole in an ongoing dialogue that strengthens the individual, our organization, and the community at large.
Based on this vision and philosophy, I believe that all aspects of arts education need to be available to our youth. Furthermore, I have argued that quality education/learning must include education in and through the arts.
For the past 30 years I have watched, and even participated in, discussions which attempted to define the differences between the various components or areas of arts education, what was the most important ‘type’ of arts education, and even what ‘true’ arts education was.
As artists and educators, I believed we buried the real value the arts have to learning through our own attempt to prioritize the value of each arts education approach. We forgot that each was a piece of a greater pie.
I view the whole pie of arts education—discipline study, arts in education, aesthetic arts, arts integration, arts infusion, exposure programs, etc.—and celebrate the strength that occurs when all pieces of the pie are equally weighted, working towards the common goal of human development.
By insisting on the whole pie of arts education, including field trips, we are focused on the impact of human development our programs have on the participant. It gives the participant, all of us for that matter the skills, abilities, and opportunities to work through our thoughts, our anger, our hurt, our depression, and our joys, through music, dance, poetry, and theater instead of violence to ourselves and others.
Partnership is an important key to providing the whole pie of arts education. In today’s economy we cannot provide the whole pie of arts education alone nor should we. Partnering can be a nightmare. Even if done correctly it is a lot of work. Partnering takes time, commitment, planning, and should be practiced over time.
I believe that partnerships and partnering:
- can make our arts education programs stronger
- can be successful
- should be long-term and worth all that is put into it
What do you think about quality arts education and/or partnerships?