arts education in schools

by Sarah


{ben at MoMa, January, 2013)

Last week, my son Ben (seen above) was asked to give a 90 second talk to the Nevada Legislature about arts education. As in most states arts education is one of the first things on the chopping block when it comes to balancing budgets, economic crisis and public education. Ben along with Cameron Crain, the Theater Director at Sage Ridge School, and several other students were invited to attend a legislative session and share their views on the subject. With Ben’s permission, I share his speech with you today. Ben is 16, and in 10th grade at Sage Ridge School in Reno, Nevada.

” I feel we are afraid.

I look around and I see adults with the ability to imagine.

Without capacity to create.

I think our society has grown to fear art.

We have brought ourselves into a reality in which it is seen as better to live a life working unhappily at a job in which your are just one very small piece to the puzzle instead of following the passions you truly enjoy.

I feel society has grown to be afraid to take that step again,

we have grown to fear the struggling artists and the lack of stability that comes along with the life style they live.

Great minds such as Marx, Gogol, and Chaplin were dealing with this issue at the turn of the 20th century they were asking the question “does industry cause us to lose humanity, does the object we create begin to hold the power over us the more we create it, and has the worker become a commodity worth less than the commodity he creates himself?”

If arts are taken away in schools we only begin to support the thought that creativity and advancement is something in which we chose not to value, we only begin to set the example for our students that thinking innovatively and artistically will never take you far in life and we begin to shape a future in which we conform to a more protected sense of self.

Art is my home.

Creation is my life.

Innovation is my future.”

He received applause from the entire senate floor. Ben hopes to attend college as a theater arts and writing major.

Have a great day everyone!



Leave a comment

Also in Blog

Into the Deep Group Show

by Sarah

For the past 10 weeks I have been honored to work along side Catherine Just and 10 amazing women photographers to create a body of work in a master photography class called Into the Deep. I have known Catherine for many years but this was only the second time I have taken a course from […]

Continue Reading →

My Immigration Story

by Sarah

(me – 4th grade – Fall, 1977 – Australia) I have lived in the United States for 40 years. I am a green card holder and in process of becoming a US citizen. Most people do not know this about me. On the surface I look and speak like any other American. I am married […]

Continue Reading →

September Creativity Tips – Starting a Personal Project

by Sarah

“Creativity is a habit, and the best creativity is the result of good work habits” – Twyla Tharp Back in June, I asked you to follow along with a new book I was reading called The Wander Society. I have read about 3/4 of the book. In it, Keri Smith discusses Walt Whitman and the […]

Continue Reading →