Blog Posts for March 2011 Salon

Salon, Farewell, Auf Wiedersehen, Adieu

Posted by Tim Mikulski, Mar 18, 2011 2 comments

Tim Mikulski

Tim Mikulski

As my third Arts Education Blog Salon comes to a conclusion, I wanted to first thank you for stopping by and (hopefully) reading all 31 posts over the past week.

The good news is that all of the posts will remain on the site and you can view them all at any time via this link - You can also search our blog by topic or by other tags listed at the bottom of each post. And, if you are ever interested in blogging yourself, just send me an email.

I also want to thank all of the intrepid bloggers from the week: Victoria Plettner-Saunders, Ken Busby, Kristy Callaway, Alyx Kellington, Lynne Kingsley, Rob Schultz, Deb Vaughn, Allen Bell, Kim Dabbs, Rachel Evans, Kathi R. Levin, Joan Weber, Marete Wester, Richard Kessler, Merryl Goldberg, Clayton Lord, and Ben Burdick.

Each of the authors (among them a few staff members of Americans for the Arts, members of our Arts Education Council, Twitter friends, meeting presenters, and members of Americans for the Arts) wrote great pieces that rarely overlapped, but when they did, they complimented each other.

Considering my usual guidance is, "Write on anything related to arts education that you feel needs to be addressed - in under 650 words," I think they do a wonderful job.  

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Thrill Kill & Other "Fun" Activities

Posted by Kristy Callaway, Mar 18, 2011 2 comments

Listening to my grandmother tell stories about her youth, I cringed at the gallows humor of her siblings grabbing chickens by the neck and swinging them around their head trying to make a quick break, or their mother harkening out not to chop the head off too close to the clothes line.

Today’s youth are learning how to make their way a wee bit differently, instead of killing and eating their beloved livestock, they have really cool games to play, with titles like the just released Homefront for Xbox 360.

The plot is fabulous, the year is 2007 and the U.S. is pit against North Korea on our own killing fields, American soil.    

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The Challenge and Opportunity of Parent Engagement

Posted by Richard Kessler, Mar 18, 2011 0 comments

Richard Kessler

If I were to think of an emblematic phrase, in arts education, it might very well be: parents are key.

Even U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, when asked on a teleconference about what should be done to advance arts education, said: "parents really have to push for this and demand it. And our job as educators is to listen to what parents and students are telling us."

It is easier said than done.

I will never forget the influential funder who told me told me that parents were a sinkhole, only to tell me a bit later that parents were essential. Whiplash!

Funny thing, both viewpoints are correct.

It’s important to note that we were talking about parents in urban school districts, and were focused on the issue of how parents could make the difference in an individual school and on a system-wide basis.   

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In the Principal’s Office: The Art of the "Absolute Basics" of Schooling

Posted by Merryl Goldberg, Mar 18, 2011 0 comments

Merryl Goldberg

I was in the principal’s office this morning, but not because I was in trouble.

I am working with a wonderfully committed principal in Vista, CA, Mary Contreras, on developing ways to use the arts as a methodology to reach English language learners on her site.

However, while I was in the office, two boys were ushered in because they were in trouble. I sat and listened to each tell his version of a story which essentially amounted to miscommunication involving bullying and a near physical fight.

As one boy left, the other started crying quietly.

After a moment or two, when gently pushed by Mary to talk about his feelings, the boy said he was sad because he was losing his friend. It was a really poignant and heartbreaking moment, and I truly felt for this kid.   

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