Last week, arts advocate Arlene Goldbard spoke at the Association of Performing Arts Service Organizations conference in Austin. Goldbard believes we need to start using a more empowered (and less-numbers-based) vocabulary for arguing for the value of the arts. At one point she said this:
“The best argument for arts education is that children today practice endlessly interacting with machines, developing a certain type of cognitive facility. But without the opportunity that arts education affords to face human stories in all their diversity and particularity, to experience emotional responses in a safe space and rehearse one’s reactions, to feel compassion and imagine alternative worlds, their emotional and moral development will never keep pace.”
Later, she noted:
“Students today are preparing for jobs and social roles that have not even been imagined yet. They cannot be trained in the narrow sense for jobs that do not yet exist.”
Goldbard argued that arts education, with its ability to instill social skills, empathy, intellectual development, critical thinking, etc., would allow students today more flexibility as those as-yet-unknown jobs and roles revealed themselves over time.
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