Thursday, May 17, 2012

Artist in Residence Perks: #2

Making kids happier through giving them an opportunity to paint.

Today I worked at Willagillespie Elementary. All 4th and 5th graders and I are still working on our math/science/space/time - themed mural in their hallway.  

space mural

One kid told me when it was her turn to paint, "This is probably the best day of my whole life."

Another kid told me when it was his turn to paint, "I've been waiting all tuesday and all yesterday for it to be my turn!"

There is nothing better than that. Better than money or fame I think, THIS is what feels good. These kids are getting less and less art in their schools, as there are more and more days of testing and test-preparation. Budget cuts have eliminated many art, music and drama teachers (physical education teachers too).  It's so sad to meet kids who have as difficult a time holding a paintbrush as some of my students in Madagascar did.  Aren't we supposed to be one of, if not THE most advanced country in the world? And our kids are getting cheated. It makes me feel good to know that organizations like mine, Lane Arts Council exists. I'm on a roster of a number of artists who are available to come to schools for 2-6 weeks at a time and work with kids. There are salsa dancers, glass artists, guitar players and me, and more! Until the system changes, at least this is a start. 

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