Friday, November 6, 2009

The Things I Hear About Arts Education

This blog post is republished from Richard Kessler's ArtsJournal blog, Dewey21C. The original post can be read in full here.
A few tidbits I have come across recently and not so recently; most in person and a few in writing:
  • "You arts people think that all principals have to do all day is think about arts education." -- School District Official
  • I would rather kids have nothing than have arts education of low quality." -- School District Administrator
  • "The integration of the arts cannot be done at the high school level." -- School District Administrator
  • "I am only really interested in a broad arts education that is integrated across the curriculum." -- Principal
  • "The integration of the arts has no quality and no sequence and cannot be accounted for." -- Professor of Education
  • "When is the arts program going to include us?" -- A non-arts subject area teacher in middle school
  • "Parents are the key to arts education." -- Foundation Staff Member
  • "Parents are a waste of time." -- The very same Foundation Staff Member
  • "Parents in low income areas don't care about the arts." -- Arts Education Consultant
  • "Parents in low income schools understand that the arts are part of a well-rounded education." -- Grass Roots Organizer.
  • "Low performing students shouldn't be required to have the arts." -- School District Official
  • "Music Saves Lives." -- Arts Advocate
  • "There would be no arts education without cultural organizations." -- Arts Administrator
  • "There is no arts education in our schools." -- Elected Official
  • "This year is going to be another great year for arts education." -- City Official (in the same school district as the elected official)


What is Seattle Opera's part in arts education? Seattle Opera’s Education department has programs designed to reach virtually every age group. In order to make opera irresistible to young people, we have tailor-made our education programs for grade schoolers, middle schoolers, high schoolers, and college students. Through exciting programming, engaging lectures, and thrilling live performances, we are preparing the opera audiences of tomorrow – today.
Grade School: Opera Goes to School
Grade School: RingFest 2009 Summer Program
Middle School: Backstage Tours
High School: Experience Opera
College: Student Group Sales, Front & Center Program
Teacher Training: Seattle Pacific University Wagner Class

Plus all the pre-performance lectures and free community lectures at various venues around town. But back to the blog post - what have YOU heard about arts education? Chime in in the comments!


  1. My late wife was a public school arts educator in Yonkers, NY (and an Adjunct on the faculty of Columbia U's College of Education) until her death in 1991. She found that often the weakest academically (and economically!!) pupils were among the best in the arts (contrary to the "School District Official" who said "low performing students (sic! pupils!) shouldn't be required to have the arts".
    Win H.