Three Hundred Fifty Nine: The Importance of the Arts

“A broad education in the arts helps give children a better understanding of their world…We need students who are culturally literate as well as math and science literate.”  – Paul Ostergard

“Creativity is just connecting things. When you ask creative people how they did something, they feel a little guilty because they didn’t really do it, they just saw something. It seemed obvious to them after a while. That’s because they were able to connect experiences they’ve had and synthesize new things. And the reason they were able to do that was that they’ve had more experiences or they have thought more about their experiences than other people. Unfortunately, that’s too rare a commodity. A lot of people in our industry haven’t had very diverse experiences. So they don’t have lots of dots to connect, and they end up with very linear solution without a broad perspective on the problem. The broader one’s understanding of the human experience, the better design we will have.” – Steve Jobs

Friday, December 26th

Today was the first time that my children attended a ballet. The Nutcracker. And it blew their creative little minds.

I sure need all the help in keeping my school-aged daughter inspired by the arts. She and two of her 1st grade friends claim they hate art. My husband and I know that she appreciates it; she always has a crayon, paper, and an idea in her hand. We strongly suspect that she does not like the art teacher. Linear. Explaining too many techniques for little minds that just need the free space to explore media.

Although ballet is a product of endless structured classes and many practices, the mix of live orchestral music, choreographed dramatic dance, and lore is a wonder to a young child. It was a spectacle, and I honestly took more joy in watching the children than watching the stage. My son kept leaning over to his Dad and I and saying, “DID YOU SEE THAT?” or “WOW! THAT WAS COOL!” A mind full of wonder is a powerful thing.

I have one and a million goals for the upcoming year, but exposing my kids to more diversity within the arts is definitely high on my list.

What would your world be like without the arts?


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