Blog Posts for Arts Education

Raising Audiences: Measuring "Withdrawal"

Posted by Matt Lehrman, Dec 15, 2008 1 comment

"If they don't want to come to the ballpark," Yogi Berra observed, "nobody is gonna stop them."

Arts marketing folk are optimists by nature. So while we may occasionally take solace in that observation, it doesn't take us long to crawl out of that hole, brush the pity from our clothes and ask, "So what do we do now?"

It's once again one of those times.

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Interview, Part I: In the Public Eye

Posted by Christopher Jagers, Dec 13, 2008 0 comments

Interview by Christopher Jagers (CEO, SlideRoom) with Jay Sullivan, Professor of Sculpture and Chair, Division of Art: Meadows School of the Arts. This interview will be posted in two parts: 1) In the Public Eye and 2) Behind the scenes.

Part I: In the Public Eye

CJ: When I first asked you to do an interview with you about "Public Art," what did you immediately begin  thinking about?

JS: I first thought of Foucault's idea of Heterotopias: spaces within a space, where a certain kind of special activity can take place, both within and also slightly outside of society. Classic examples of this are hospitals, insane asylums or graveyards. These are places where society can have safe conversations about things that they don't want to deal with all the time or everywhere. Ironically, when I think about Public Art, I think about the Percent for Art Project and this notion that we seek to beautify train stations, airports and other things. There is a heterotopic feel about that.  On one hand, it is defining certain structures (usually municipal) as being public in a way that other spaces (like major street intersections) are not.  For instance, if I put a big sculpture at a major street intersection, I could get into more trouble (aesthetic) than if I put the same piece of sculpture in a train station—the spaces are “public” in different ways and we expect different things to happen there.

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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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