TOWN HALL INFORMATION SESSIONS:
Speaking Up On Arts Education
One and All – Parents, educators, artists, students, and all interested community members: Join us Monday March 12 from 6PM-8PM for a dynamic discussion about arts education!
Everyone will have an opportunity to discuss the future of Anglophone public arts education in New Brunswick at this energetic world café.
We’ll ask you about your community and family’s access to arts education. Your feedback will help us paint a picture of what arts education looks like across the Anglophone School Districts.
The Arts Education Town Halls are part of a review of Anglophone arts education being led by ArtsLink NB as an important element in the realization of the province’s Cultural Policy. Participants will be asked to reflect on the state of arts education in their school district and to consider the impacts of arts education on their children, their students, or themselves. Discussions will identify significant challenges facing arts education as well as gathering ideas for what Anglophone arts education could look like in the future. Input will help direct further research as ArtsLink prepares a report on ways in which curriculum design, staffing, and resources can ensure that New Brunswick is doing its best to capitalize on the societal benefits that can be delivered by arts education in the schools.
Everyone with an interest in how arts education can support the development of New Brunswick’s students and contribute long-term to the economic and social prosperity of the province is encouraged to attend.
ArtsLink NB is the province’s primary overall voice for Anglophone artists and the arts and a leading voice on the benefits of arts to society. It believes that New Brunswick’s sustainable future relies on an up-to-date and responsive curriculum in all areas of K-12 education in order to nurture and develop citizens who are prepared for life’s challenges by being literate, adaptable, and self-confident, and by valuing diversity. Arts education has a key role to play in this development through learning in the arts (courses in making art of all kinds), learning about the arts (courses in visual and performing arts history and criticism) and learning through the arts (innovative uses of the arts to facilitate learning in other areas.)
WE ARE ADDRESSING THESE POINTS FROM THE GOVERNMENT OF NB’S 10 YR EDUCATION PLAN EVERYONE AT THEIR BEST:
1: “Improve literacy skills for all learners.”
Media literacy is vital in the modern world; it is the difference between knowing what is an advertisement or fake news versus credible, dependable information. Young people are subject to thousands of images and bits information on a daily basis, but are rarely equipped with the skills needed to negotiate the validity of what is being represented. Through developing an understanding in their arts education courses of how images and patterns are constructed, what and how they communicate, and what value systems they promote / sell, students can develop visual and media literacies.
2:“Foster leadership, active citizenship and an entrepreneurial mindset.”
Studies in theatre, music, and dance can provide students with opportunities for directing, collaborating, advocacy, and entrepreneurship. The heart of entrepreneurship is creative problem solving: imagining a solution that doesn’t already exist to fix a current problem; the ability to imagine is a skill fostered in learning through the arts. Branding and selling are both increasingly dependent on storytelling and compelling leadership. Knowing how to create a narrative, a skill learned through the arts, is integral to the success of business in a contemporary landscape.
3: “Ensure all learners value diversity and have a strong sense of belonging.”
Accessing and participating in making the arts help us to see ourselves in our world, something essential to retaining our youth and attracting newcomers. Participation in the arts can enhance students’ sense of personal worth and accomplishment as well as of membership in a community. Appreciation of shared stories and representations can enhance a sense of identity; and the imaginative leaps, identification, empathy, and re-positionings required to create art projects can assist in the development of what psychologists call “theory of mind,” an essential building-block for understanding, appreciating, and supporting diversity.
4:“Ensure all learners develop the knowledge, skills and behaviours needed to continually adapt to, and thrive in, their environment.”
The arts teach creative problem-solving. Whether the project is making a painting, designing a stage set, playing a musical work, choreographing or executing a dance, or acting a dramatic role, students involved in arts projects are constantly asked to review and revise, adapting to changes or unforeseen developments in media, physical space, instruments, and their co-performers.
These talking points and policy objectives are near and dear to everyone involved in the arts education project, but they also resonate with our friends and colleagues who may not realize how important the arts are to the long-term success of our youth.