The new administration that is getting ready to settle in DC is a cause to celebrate and a cause to worry. President elect Obama is quoted as a supporter of arts education a good sign. Further, a change is always an opportunity to do something new and bold. On the other hand this administration is handicapped by major challenges economically and on the international stage. Will there be enough political will for battles in education let alone arts education?
At these point I always emerge as the eternal pessimist. The choice of secretary of education and the focus of this administration may signal that the time is not right.
Politics aside the economic situation may very well signal that we need a new creative generation, that the whole child initiative (ASCD) and specifically arts education can provide answers not found anywhere else.
Tuesday, December 2, 2008
As the economic situation turns sour across the nation and the world funders and the public at- large seem to shy away from the arts. "This is not the time to support the arts..." they seem to say, people are hungry. I understand the need to support the hungry and homeless now, but at the same time we cannot let the arts and arts education clear the stage until things get better. If the arts are basic then they apply in good times and bad.
It is the shadow of "high" expensive art that is a luxury most enjoyed by the rich that is cast over the whole field. If arts education helps all students be better citizens, more aware of the world, more creative, and higher achievers across the board- then we must especially in times of difficulty make room for arts education.