Silvia Filippini Fantoni, PhD
Community Arts Team Member & Director of Interpretation, Media, and Evaluation at the Indianapolis Museum of Art
Making Art Accessible for Kids
“Children do not understand art.”
“Art is for adults.”
“An art museum is not a place for kids.”
These misperceptions are all too common, but the Indianapolis Museum of Art strives daily to change them. All across campus, there are spaces and activities for children 2 – 12 to learn and engage with art, helping families interact, and leading to lasting impressions. Capturing this audience is fundamental for the future of art and of our institution. By engaging visitors from a young age, not only do we contribute to the development of a new generation of artists and art lovers, but we also lay the foundation for a new generation of visitors.
Activity Spaces Abound
Family activity spaces can be found throughout the entire museum. Each space is thoughtfully designed to get children and families involved with the art. The purpose of these spaces is to provide hands-on learning experiences to help guests use their senses to create.
“The arts are vital to the well-rounded education of our students. That’s why I’m proud to participate in Indianapolis Arts in Education Week. The arts increase confidence, improve student and family engagement, and connect schools to our community in meaningful ways.”
The Arts Council of Indianapolis and its Any Given Child initiative are delighted to have the support of Indianapolis Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Lewis Ferebee. Watch his video message below to learn more about IPS’s commitment to increasing arts access and equity for its students.
#ArtsEdWeekIndy – A Message from Dr. Lewis Ferebee, IPS Superintendent from Arts Council of Indianapolis on Vimeo.
Executive Artistic Director, Young Actors Theatre
There is an island of trash in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, an actual island. This is a new problem in the world. The world is filled with new problems. They are everywhere. Who is going to solve these problems? I believe that the student who truly has the creative mind will.
What builds the creative mind? It is my opinion that arts education is absolutely vital to the building of the creative mind. Arts education is more than teaching someone what the particular art that they are studying is like. It is more than making them into a lifetime arts patron. It teaches the student how to build the creative mind that is able to create solutions for problems that did not exist before. Creating art out of nothing ends in a student studying medicine believing they have the creativity to find a cure. It ends in someone starting a business that did not exist before. It helps a student to gather a vision for jobs in an age where technology is taking them away.
Photo by WFYI
As part of National Arts in Education Week and the #ArtsEdWeekIndy celebration, the Arts Council of Indianapolis’ Director of Grant Services & Education Partnerships Ernest Disney-Britton and Indianapolis Public Schools’ Deputy Superintendent for Academics Dr. Wanda Legrand were interviewed on WFYI’s No Limits radio program about Any Given Child Indy.
The September 13 interview included information about the Any Given Child Indy 2016-2017 Action Plan. Disney-Britton and Legrand also talked about the initiative’s goals and strategies that will increase access to arts education for Indianapolis Public School students.
Listen to a recording of the interview on WFYI No Limits’ website.
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:
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.