Blog Posts for Arts Education

Time for Revolution: Arts Education at the Ready

Posted by John Abodeely, Dec 09, 2008 1 comment

By Merryl Goldberg, Ed.D., Professor of Visual and Performing Arts,
California State University San Marcos

The selfish or shallow person might be a great musician technically, but he’ll be so involved with himself that his playing will lack warmth, intensity, beauty and he won’t be deeply felt by the listener. He’ll arbitrarily play the first solo every time. If he’s backing a singer he’ll play anything he wants or he’ll be practicing scales. A person that lets the other guy take the first solo, and when he plays behind a soloist plays only to enhance him, that’s the guy that will care about his wife and children and will be courteous in his everyday contact with people.
- Art Pepper, from
Straight Life excerpted in Gottlieb (1996), p. 278.

The arts may have lost their way with regard to a purposefulness in today’s education, perhaps even in society, but it is not too late to revolutionize the wheel. I started this piece with a quote from Art Pepper, a great jazz saxophonist. Arts education is often framed as if it is outside the realm of life, as if it is simply a subject to be studied (or not studied). Pepper, in musing about musicians and their attitudes, stumbles upon key parallels to the role that arts can, and over the years have played, in education. Namely, what one learns in order to play music well, or for that matter, what one learns in practicing any art form, can transfer to what one does in everyday life.

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art and knowing in the room

Posted by Kelly Beavers, Dec 09, 2008 0 comments

(Kelly was a participant in the Americans for the Arts Knowledge Exchange, Public Art Master Planning: Developing a Plan for your Community held Dec. 5-6 in Reston and Arlington VA)

What a vibrant and energetic exchange! The room is resounding with willingness to share. Today's schedule was coordinated masterfully, encouraging learning and interaction, and inspiring individuals toward positive change. The morning began with a presentation by Robert E. Simon on the importance of Public Art to Reston's early master plan. His passion conveyed how timely the bravery of such an innovative development was.  Some of the success of his bravery is evident through the level of cherish-ment held by current and past community members. Simon led us on a walk around the historic elements of Reston, lit with his references to treasured memories - one in particular worth noting: a child embracing a Reston public sculpture so intently as to refuse to his mother to Ever abandon the new found play scape.

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President-elect Barack Obama on Meet the Press

Posted by Diane Ruggiero, Dec 08, 2008 3 comments

I wasn't sure how many of you saw the broadcast yesterday with President-elect Obama talking with Tom Brokaw.  But I was happy to hear them discuss the topic of culture in the White House!

Below is the transcript of the conversation.  Or you can watch it online at (the topic of culture is at approximately 40 minutes and 30 seconds into the broadcast - last but not least). (You can also find this linked in the news section of the Americans for the Arts website,


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