It’s stunning and wonderful to read an eloquent and informed piece by such a high-ranking and powerful public leader. What’s better than his educated opinions in support of the arts? Reading about the actions he’s already taken to help put the arts back in NY’s schools.
Here are some choice bits.
Perhaps it would be prudent to teach the arts only when we are confident that our young people can read, write and count proficiently, and when our society is generally more prosperous. In other words, is arts education significant, especially in a time of economic distress?
The issue of arts education brings us to the basic question of what type of society we wish to build. Today’s eighth graders are the next generation of civic and business leaders. The cultural heritage of the state of New York, be it visual, architectural or musical, will be in their hands. If we want future generations to appreciate and see value in architectural icons like the Brooklyn Bridge, music forms like jazz and salsa, and painters like Edward Hopper, we need to introduce young people to them now. No matter what their ethnic, cultural or class background, a sound arts education strengthens our children’s connection to their communities and to broader society. Read the rest of this entry »