What We Mean by Demand
What a rich exchange of ideas we've had this first day. I'm going to pick up on one strand of the conversation that surfaced early. Several of you have expressed discomfort talking about "demand," which we normally associate with commodities and marketing, in the context of the arts. Let me clarify what we mean by the term in our report and why we find it useful.
The demand side of the cultural system consists of individuals who seek encounters with works of art. They do so because they have an interest in the arts and the capacity to find value in the arts experience. How do people develop such interest and capacity? It can happen in a multitude of ways, but the most effective way is to reach young people with strong arts education in the schools that teaches both performance and appreciation skills.
The purpose of such education is not to sustain a market for the arts but to draw more Americans into long-term involvement in the arts that enriches their lives and contributes to the public sphere. But it is important that we recognize that arts learning also fuels the entire cultural system. This role of arts education has not been sufficiently understood, even by arts educators, as a number of you have pointed out. If we are to work together to change the status quo, we need to understand why investments in arts education are necessary to sustain a vibrant culture.
It will take a powerful coalition of cultural leaders--including directors of arts organizations and the business leaders that sit on their Boards, the arts policy community, artists, and the professional organizations that represent thousands of arts educators--to change state education policy. Only by working together can they persuade the general education community (and the American public) that the arts should be part of the basic curriculum of the public schools.
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;
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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