#ArtsEdWeekIndy: Thoughts on Arts Education from Carlos Sosa

Carlos Sosa The SosaGroup Creative Renewal Arts Fellow, Round 8 (2013-2014)

Carlos Sosa
The SosaGroup
Creative Renewal Arts Fellow, Round 8 (2013-2014)

I frankly find discussions about whether art is important enough to be taught in schools rather unfortunate and somewhat ridiculous. It seems to me that the importance of the arts to education is a no-brainer. However, various educational systems seem to determine otherwise. I was asked to offer my observations concerning this topic, so I have provided a couple of random thoughts here:

Art inspires.
When I was a child, I perhaps owned a few colored markers, BIC pens and #2 pencils that were the extent of my available art tools. My father used to work at a print shop and so despite the fact that I wasn’t well-equipped, I was fortunate to have ample paper on which to sketch and draw. In elementary school, I was encouraged to produce posters for art contests, to act and sing in school plays, and even participate in public speaking. I grew up in an era in which public art was everywhere—especially on subway cars and shop gates. In fact, a whole new genre of art developed around me: hip-hop. Because of the city I lived in, I had ample access to the fine arts. My sisters and my school programs would take me to the MET, MOMA, and occasionally to attend Broadway shows. I was essentially a poor kid, but lucky to have an inspirational world of art all around me. I certainly am a testament to the fact that the arts contributed to my success in school. I use what I learned from my arts experiences to express myself with all kinds of projects from illustrated history timelines to creative writing to musical slideshows (today’s PPT presentations). Effectively, I use what I learned for my arts experiences to become the design professional that I am today. I help inform, communicate, entertain, and educate and I’m proud of the fact that I can do this.

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#ArtsEdWeekIndy: Gary Brackett on “Why Arts Education is Important”

Gary Brackett, President/CEO and Co-Owner Brackett Restaurant Group and former starting linebacker and Captain of the Indianapolis Colts

Gary Brackett, President/CEO and Owner Brackett Restaurant Group and former starting linebacker and Captain of the Indianapolis Colts

Art is an important part of my family’s life. Art–be it through spoken word, music, or gastronomy–is also a huge part of our Georgia Reese’s restaurant. We were thrilled to display an extraordinary piece of art by local Indiana artist Pamela Bliss in our restaurant during the 100th Running of the Indy 500. We know that art is good for the economy, and it elevates Indianapolis to a world-class city. But, I was asked why arts education is important to me. In short, I was recently stuck in traffic and saw a bumper sticker that read, “Earth without art is just eh”–I’m sure you have seen one like it! We all have! And hopefully it stayed with you like it did with me. Because who wants to live in a world of “just eh?” As a parent, I know many of you join me in wanting what is best for our children. We want our children to inherit an earth rich in beauty, diversity, art, and culture. We work hard so that our children can enjoy experiences we never had as children. We invest in our communities today because we want them to be full and robust for our children tomorrow. We do not want to leave a community that is “just eh” for our children. Instead, we want to leave them a community so deeply entrenched with exceptional art and culture that their quality of life is infinitely better than ours.

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#ArtsEdWeekIndy: Notes from the 2016 VSA Intersections Conference

By Michele Pickard, Instrumental Music Educator, Edison School of the Arts

While preparing to attend the Kennedy Center’s VSA Intersections Conference in August, I was full of worry about missing the opening days of school at Edison School of the Arts, IPS #47. How far behind and out of the loop would I be when I returned to Indianapolis?

As soon as the opening session for the conference began my attention was captured and I was hooked. The opening session was a wonderful presentation–Sesame Street and Autism: Seeing Amazing in All Children. I do not know a person my age who has not watched Sesame Street as a child.

Posted in #ArtsEdWeekIndy

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#ArtsEdWeekIndy: 9/12 Kickoff Celebration Recap

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Thank you to those who were able to join us for the National Arts in Education Week Kickoff Celebration at the Indianapolis Artsgarden this afternoon! There were more than 60 people celebrating the kick off of National Arts in Education Week. Those in attendance had the opportunity to witness:

If you were unable to attend the Kickoff Celebration to pick up your copy of the 2016-2017 Community Report, you may download a copy here. The report includes information about the 2015 Data Collection as well as next steps for the 2016-2017 school year and beyond!

We hope you will join us this week as we continue our celebration of National Arts in Education Week in Indianapolis! The full schedule of activities and list of 26 arts organizations participating in the Week of Giving for arts programming can be found here.

A Message from Mayor Joe Hogsett – Celebrate National Arts in Education Week! from Arts Council of Indianapolis on Vimeo.

 

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#ArtsEdWeekIndy: “I See Potential” by Michael Grady

 

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Michael Grady, Any Given Child Indy Creative Engagement Committee Co-Chair & Sportscaster 93.5/1070 The Fan, WRTV-6, Pacers

The arts have played a huge role in my life and career. While I am a radio host and television sports anchor, my experience with the arts STILL influences my job performance. In elementary school, my ability to write song lyrics and poetry gave me confidence at a young age. It forced me to challenge myself and expand my vocabulary. I would read and write virtually every day. In my late teens and early 20s, I was able to perform my inspirational poetry at local high schools, colleges and universities, the Indiana State House, the Indiana Black Expo, and at numerous events. Public speaking, an area that so many struggle with, became a strength of mine. When I became the public address announcer for the Indiana Pacers, I was asked several times, “Do you get nervous speaking in front of nearly 20,000 people at home games?” My response is always, “No…” because of those early experiences that was made possible because of my interest in the arts.

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