Thursday, August 30, 2012

Amidst the convention hoopla, Republicans take time to praise arts education

Sometimes you have to depend on a city's alternative press to get the story behind the story. From Creative Loafing Tampa Bay's RNC web site:
Officials from varying levels of government talked on the importance of arts and arts education in a panel discussion moderated by former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee at the Tampa Theatre Tuesday afternoon.

“Arts education is fundamental , not ornamental,” said Art Keeble, executive director of the Arts Council of Hillsborough County. He said those who will prosper and succeed in a new economy will be those who “think like artists.” He predicts MFA's will soon be as sought after as MBA’s.

In conjunction with the Arts Council and Tampa Theatre, the discussion was hosted by the non-profit Action Fund of Americans for the Arts, an organization which supports arts education within communities and schools. Americans for the Arts has about 200,000 members throughout the country. According to the Action Fund's website, students with an arts-rich education have higher GPA’s, better scores on standardized tests, and lower drop-out rates.

Utah Governor Gary Herbert said that the benefits of arts education extend beyond the classroom. He said supporting the arts has economic benefits, too, since creative people are keen problem-solvers and able to develop better solutions to market needs.

He added that arts education requires a two-pronged approach, combining reinforcement in the home and a comprehensive curriculum for arts appreciation in schools.

 “Frankly, I’m one who believes that a good balanced approach to education includes an appreciation of art and opportunities to be taught,” said Herbert.
MFA's as sought after as MBA's? Possibly. But MFA education will have to change to incorporate aspects of the MBA curriculum, don't you think? Artists are becoming (or expected to become) artrepreneurs, but have very little training in the entrepreneurial arts. That needs to change. And it's possible the MBA candidate would benefit from some visual arts, performing arts or creative writing courses.

Read the entire article at Creative Loafing Tampa Bay : Former Governor Huckabee moderates art education forum at Tampa Theatre

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