I am a Trustee of Arts for Learning San Diego. More importantly, I trust the brilliant work that is being done everyday by this organization. I trust the arts to educate and elevate kids, their parents, teachers, and the rest of us.
Anyone who has grown up with any exposure to any art form(s), knows that it’s the stuff of excellence. Mastery requires more than talent. It requires practice and persistence; creativity and courage; innovation and inspiration; appreciation and attention.
The arts are expressive and aesthetic, and convey technique, experience, and culture. They inspire new ways of encountering, awakening our senses and cognitive connections.
To me, the arts are inherent to education. How can one be considered educated without some acquaintance with the arts? In fact, the arts are a natural conduit for other (academic) subject matter. They reinforce concepts.
Even genius works of art—those that seem unmatchable or divinely inspired—are utterly human. And although most of us will never be able to produce masterpieces, we can certainly experience them and learn of and from them. We can learn about them and, in turn, about ourselves and others.
We have such a vibrant arts community in San Diego, and as a recent transplant here, I am so grateful to be able to participate in even a small way with ensuring the future as an arts-rich community.
Learning about and through the arts has been a source of strength for me. I can look at paintings that reflect wars or political upheavals , or even just different historical moments, and remind myself that we humans have overcome, and will create better opportunities in the future. I can listen to music, even unfamiliar orchestral or other traditional pieces, and connect patterns and relate to historical or biographical moments, or just get lost in sounds that transcend thoughts and ideas. I can see a dance production and feel the kinetic energy and witness profound discipline and expression in the service of a story that seems timeless.
We all need to escape from time to time, and we all need entertainment . But the arts provide more; they nourish our hearts, minds, spirits, and senses. They are essential to Culture and, to civil society.
As a former Social Studies teacher, I have always wanted to prepare future citizens. But our citizenry will not be well prepared by merely learning History or Civics. We must ensure that we truly educate through the most human of activities—the arts.
If we want to generate creativity and innovation, we need to go full STEAM ahead. Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, Math. All the arts educate. Arts are for learning.