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Talk about arts

Date Added: May 30, 2007 06:59:15 PM

The arts are languages that most people speak, cutting through individual differences in culture, educational background, and ability.  It may be the case that culture wars skirmishes in the arts are inconsequential, compared with the importance of the art subsidized.  Folk and traditional arts are, ultimately, passed on from one generation to the next and express a collective wisdom, rather than a unique personal aesthetic.  The arts are forms of communication extending beyond reading, writing, listening and speaking.

Music :

Music as an academic discipline mainly focuses on two career paths, music performance (focused on the orchestra and the concert hall) and music education (training music teachers).  The young musician knows that how well and often she practices has a direct impact on the outcome.  The young musician learns by doing, by playing the violin, not listening to someone lecture about how to play.  A gifted musician and teacher describes practical ways to use music as another multi-sensory approach to teaching math, literacy, science, and social studies.  Based upon the musical, inter and interpersonal components of the theory of multiple intelligences, the program is in its third year of schoolwide implementation.  Recent research shows that study in music improves test scores in spatial temporal reasoning in young children (Rauscher, 1997).  Communicating in the fine arts means learning to translate ideas through dance, drama, music and visual arts.

Cultural :

Cultural partners in the community -- arts centers, symphonies, theatres, and the like -- can offer engaging venues as well as skilled instructors and mentors for students.  Society might benefit from greater cultural tolerance when majority groups are exposed to other cultures ands taste through the arts.  During the past 40 years, the Westchester Arts Council has seeded the growth of a vibrant cultural life in Westchester, raising and distributing funds to over 150 cultural organizations, 43 school districts, and hundreds of artists.  In terms of adult participation in the arts, a 2002 survey showed that 11% sang or played a musical instrument, 11% danced, 9% painted, drew or did printmaking or sculpture, 4% had written stories, plays or poetry, 3% had voluntarily helped with the running of an arts/cultural event or organisation and 2% were actively involved in drama.  About 945,000 people work within the cultural industries, which accounts for perhaps 2% of GDP (gross domestic product).

Performing :

Performing and visual artists will have a well-equipped and centralized location to develop and present their works to larger audiences.  Performing arts are also supported by workers in related fields, such as songwriting and stagecraft.  The performing arts are those forms of art which differ from the plastic arts insofar as the former uses the artist's own body, face and presence as a medium, and the latter uses materials such as clay, metal or paint which can be molded or transformed to create some art object.  As performing groups and individuals, these young artists are recognized for their outstanding skills and hard work: The Hanford High School drama department has been invited to Scotland this summer to participate in the Fringe International Theater Festival.  Many performing arts today face multiple threats.  Although this may bring revenues to a country or community and offer a window onto its culture, it is not uncommon that such processes create new forms of presenting the performing arts that are abbreviated, losing certain elements important to the tradition, and may turn a traditional form into mere entertainment.

The arts are a major part of life within the UK.  Maybe that's because knowledge of and prowess in the arts are not included in any of the plethora of standardized tests that schools administer.  If the arts are important, now's the time to speak up.