By Jessica Nelson, Sedona Resident
(August 31, 2013)
Imagination is the cornerstone of all learning. With it, a child’s comprehension and appreciation of intellectual concepts is deepened and embedded. Without it, the concepts have little meaning and are soon forgotten. There is no better way to engage children’s imaginations than in their arts classes. Children NEED art in their lives. Not only does it help develop their creativity and self- confidence, it enables them to explore the full range of their emotions in a profound and healing way. Their fears can be confronted, their joys celebrated.
The arts engage our children’s humanity in ways that the other disciplines cannot. In the arts, there is not one “correct” answer, as there is on standardized tests. Children have the opportunity to solve problems using their own individual talents and experience as their guide. The arts are a perfect antidote to the increasing “standardization” of education. They give students empathy for other people, and awaken past cultures in a way that written text never could. Good schools have strong arts programs.
Humans are beings of emotion as well as intellect and we have been painting and sculpting for far longer than we have been computing and writing. When we express ourselves through art, we participate in an ancient, unique, powerful, and meaningful cycle that is our privilege as human beings. When children are given the gift of the arts, no matter where their careers take them, whether to art or to engineering, they will channel the passion and the creativity into their future personal and professional lives. They will shine in the full spectrum of their humanity.