Why Americans for the Arts, a respected organization in the Humanities and Public Policy community is willing to let me speak my mind like this, I’ll never know. But, I can say, the minute I started taking risks with this topic, things started to happen.
A few months back I joined Keep the Arts In Public Schools, a cause on Facebook. I got pretty excited about maxing out that tool and came up with some ways to organize people around it. Its been extraordinary fun and I’ll touch on that in more depth as we go. Being invited to blog here is an enormous honor. I’m excited to document what happens when some passionate people push the edges of technology and the edges of caring to their limits. I’m uncontrollably enthusiastic about that.
Here’s what I see next. I’d like there to be no question about balanced education. The ancient Greeks lived in mud huts and perfected fine arts with the best of ancient civilizations. They also formalized much of the math our culture clings to today and left behind some of the most amazing architecture in history (a perfect blend of art and science). If they could get it, surely we can.
I’m not a total nutjob. To me, the purpose of understanding and affording arts education makes financial sense. When young people receive a balanced education, its been shown they are more productive, tend toward happiness and are creative problem-solvers. Strong civilizations are built on those foundations.
Dig around the site this post is on and you’ll bump into serious scientific research to back that up.
I’ll be using this space to showcase efforts that are really helping. I’ll introduce ways we are having impact in our communities. I’ll ask for feedback, ideas, help, guidance. I’ll collaborate with you here. And, I’ll learn as we go. With your help.
Looking back on the opening quote from the first part of this blog post, I remember the first time I saw, Stop Making Sense, the live concert movie featuring Talking Heads (and Tom Tom Club). I was with my Uncle Jay and best friend Tim at the (then) Plaza Theater in Petaluma, California.
When people still smoked and drank in movies. (Woah. Some things are way better now.) Anyway, I remember when it clicked. When the phrase oddly made ironic sense. There is such a freedom when we surrender and Stop Making Sense.
As with all aspects of our society, this year is big. We have a social climate demanding change. Our institutions have reached the completion of their missions and are asking to be redesigned using intuition and logic. Arts and Sciences together are the disciplines that allow our youth to constructively co-create a new version of the broken mess we’re rumbling around in now.
Here’s to getting there together.