Businesses and organizations experience an array of rapidly changing and increasingly complex challenges. Today’s world demands that we think in new ways. More than ever, it’s an environment that requires creativity and innovation.
Recent discussions and pending decisions regarding the government budget leave funding for the arts in limbo. If we care about a nation that’s both compassionate and creative; if we care about opportunities for young people, innovation, intellectual achievement, and our dignity as a national, then it is clear we cannot allow the arts to fall by the wayside. The value of the arts goes well beyond their social and economic benefits. The arts expand the mind and soul.
About 20 years ago I met a young musician who told me a story I’ll never forget. If you have ever wondered about the value of the arts—especially the process of performing music, dance, or theater, or making visual art—her story shows how the arts provide an opportunity to learn how to live a more creative and successful life.
As we prepare to take part in elections that will soon be held across the country, I think it’s important to consider the impact of the choices we make on the future of the arts—both public sector and arts education.
As another school year begins, I think it’s important for everyone to look more deeply into the value of learning through the arts.
At a time when the world has shifted dramatically and people everywhere are looking for new ways to reach out, interact, and share their inner spirit with the world, the creative concepts of Arts Awareness provide a foundation for learning that can transform your life.
The program notes for a recent concert called to mind the influence of other people on our personal views. We’re all influenced by others in some way. When we experience the values of others, their beliefs and attitudes mingle with our own; and over time a new vision is created even if we’re not fully aware of it.
I recently attended the final concert performed by the 2015 Arizona Musicfest Orchestra in Scottsdale, Arizona. One of the works on the concert—the Glagolitic Mass by Leos Janáček—was of particular interest to me. Janáček’s music is deeply influenced and inspired by Moravian and other Slavic folk music.
Everywhere you go in the Southwest, you’re surrounded by the remarkable beauty of nature. There is an opportunity every day to explore and experience the outdoors and at the same time gain a deep understanding of the artistic processes of all kinds of Native American artists.
As I moved from room to room among the hundreds of music teachers at a recent Music Educators Conference in Arizona, I thought about the tremendous passion and commitment that brought all of these people to this profession—teaching music for a living.