Thank you for visiting this blog. Over the next few months I look forward to an exciting dialogue from many diverse voices about the future of community arts education. I hope you will subscribe to the feed so you can keep up with this important discussion.
My earliest memory of a community arts experience was when my parents enrolled my sister and me in a community theatre program in League City, Texas when we were in elementary school. I brought home a flyer from school from the local playhouse and I thought the black and white drawing of a mime and stage lights looked very exciting. We went to theatre class for several weeks and then we ‘put on a play.’ The unforgettable smell of wet paint and cut lumber as the set was being constructed, the hours of memorizing lines, the heat of the stage lights, and the excitement of our first opening night are all things that I’ve never forgotten. Although it was years before I would return to the world of theatre, I was hooked.
The Nationals Guild’s Green Paper beautifully describes the diverse field of community arts education with “more than 5,000 nonprofit, arts organizations and government agencies are providing professionally-led, direct instruction in the arts to people of all ages, backgrounds and abilities in community settings “ Whether it be community music schools in Chicago, Illinois or Whitefish, Montana, civic ballet organizations like the Greenville Civic Ballet in North Carolina, visual arts centers such as Inner-City Arts in the heart of Skid Row in Los Angeles, or a playhouse in a small Texas town, community arts providers throughout the nation are providing opportunities in the arts that are “essential to individual fulfillment and community life.” Read the rest of this entry »