with all the talk of diminishing returns on education in the united states & the slashing of budgets for many core curricula as well as extracurricular programs caused by the economic downturn, it was particularly heartening last night to be reminded how much art (one of the first things to be deemed unnecessary when school administrators & school boards bring out their budget axes. whack!) can be the salvation of so many.
that art (& i am not only talking about the visual arts, but all of the arts: music, drama, literature, dance) has the power to transform individuals’ lives, but also to release them from their prisons (made manifest by disease or social stigma) & allow them to move forward in life because they have found a way to communicate with the world around them is dismissed as inconsequential to the greater good of society is a mistake that is too often made by those with the power to determine the course of young people’s lives. for shame.
when the voice of one child is quieted by the ignorance of an adult, it destroys what i would deem a sacred duty, a duty that each of us should hold dear, one that we should be held accountable for; that there is room in our world for all voices, regardless of how that voice comes to be. to deny our society the benefit of creativity is surely the first sign (of many signs) that we are sliding irrevocably toward insignificance.
one can only hope, that the need to express one’s self through the arts will be too strong to destroy & that little by little, enough people will be able to see past their fears (the arts: unquantifiable = unnecessary!) & embrace their own creativity (we all have it, truly) & tend it, letting it flower as it should, in its own time & at its own pace. we’ll be better human beings for it.