Response to Laura on arts ed practices
Laura writes, "Arts education ... is the most effective way to develop an individual's capacity to see, hear, and find meaning in works of art."
This is true, but I think the evidence is clear that we are not accomplishing the job. Some will say we would if we were given more time with learners. I don't think so. I don't see our current arts ed practices successfully nurturing demand for artistic experiences--and that is the message of the Wallace/RAND research--nurturing hunger for arts experiences is the change we require, above more and better supply. I think our current mainstream practices derive from traditional definitions of "art" as nouns to be produced and consumed, and have not evolved with the cultural understandings of art, and the widescale hunger for relevant, valuable, essential things not seen as provided by "art" by the vast majority of Americans.
Laura writes, "We need policies that focus on developing individual capacity to have engaging experiences with works of art." I agree, and it ain't just policy! We, as a field, we need to rethink our practices to prioritize the development of those capacities that create personally relevant experiences in the work of art, exploring and creating works that may or may not be in "artistic" media. We have many experiments of this kind happening, but our standard practices--from elementary school chorus, to high school band and drama class, to Art Appreciation 101 in college, to music study at Juilliard (where I have worked for a decade, indeed I work in all those settings)--do not prioritize the individual's artistic experience, which according to the new research (and my own decades of disparate experience) is the way nurture a lifelong hunger for the arts, lifelong yearners. That's the only way we can change the culture over time. I think our culture, any culture, has the arts and arts education it really wants; and this granular level of individual pleasure and reward in artistic experiences is the only way to begin to change what America wants of art and arts education.
I believe we know more as a field than our current practice would demonstrate.
Sam Hope, executive director, The National Office for Arts Accreditation (NOAA);
Jack Lew, Global University Relations Manager for Art Talent at EA;
Laura Zakaras, RAND;
James Cuno, Director, Art Institute of Chicago;
Richard Kessler, Executive Director, Center for Arts Education;
Eric Booth, Actor;
Bau Graves, Executive director, Old Town School of Folk Music;
Kiff Gallagher, Founder & CEO of the Music National Service Initiative and MusicianCorps
Bennett Reimer, Founder of the Center for the Study of Education and the Musical Experience, author of A Philosophy of Music Education;
Edward Pauly, the director of research and evaluation at The Wallace Foundation;
Moy Eng, Program Director of the Performing Arts Program at The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation;
John Rockwell, critic;
Susan Sclafani, Managing Director, Chartwell Education Group;
Jane Remer, Author, Educator, Researcher
Michael Hinojosa, General Superintendent, Dallas Independent School District
Peter Sellars, director
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