Throughout my 30 years at Americans for the Arts, I have seen first-hand the profound impact that the arts have on children's lives. Just the other evening, a YoungArts alumna, singer/bassist Kate Davis, performed before a crowd of national policy leaders, senators, members of Congress, and famous artists, for an event honoring the U.S. National Medal of Arts and Humanities honorees in Washington, D.C. I first met this young lady just a few years ago and she was a high school student who so impressed me that Robert Redford and I invited her to our National Arts Policy Roundtable, where she in turn impressed the leaders of President Obama's President's Committee on the Arts and Humanities. The next thing you know, she is sharing her art and ideas at the White House. Magic can and does happen all the time through the arts and arts education.
As we celebrate the fifth anniversary of the Congressionally designated National Arts in Education Week over the next few days, I want to share just a few of the experiences I have had in the arts with students as I travel the country, with the hope that these will bring to mind experiences of your own that you will share with others.