Saturday, June 18, 2011

Art Education and the Elites

It is an untypically pessimistic post for me...

The drive to make sure that students are on grade level in Reading and Math has hurt many of the other subjects. It is simply the arithmetic of time in school, so we're told. All the surveys show that the public wants creative and even artistic students but whenever faced with the false dichotomy of either reading and math OR art, people admit that they think reading and math are more important to them.

Of course this impacts some students more than others. Uper middle class professional parents will support extra curricular programs in their schools and will also fill the gap themselves. At the same time a self reinforcing pattern of alienation from the arts will occur through the rest of society. Depending on what outcome you care about we will have less creative adults (when we need thm most), we will ave less patrons of the art, and finally and mot importantly art will once again be part of class distinction.

If only a small and well off segment of socuety gets true exposure to the arts then the arts themselves become part of class. When people discuss class they talk about class warfare. I do not agree I see instead a slow eroding change that willl not be understood until it is irreversible.

This call is not only for educators and thepublic but also to art organizations- make sure you engage your future audiences and include education in your goals.
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