ARTS Advocacy Day 2013 – What does it mean to me?

imagesI am not sure why, but I guess I never thought about Arts Advocacy day before. It was April 3 this year.  On April 8, Americans for the Arts sponsored The Nancy Hanks lecture on Arts and Public Policy by esteemed cellist Yo-Yo Ma that was broadcast through Google and available on You Tube —  HERE. The question remains, can he fix the arts?

I don’t think the arts need fixing as much as they need ambassadors. Everyone must contribute to a solution. What do the arts contribute to our world?  What do they teach us? Yo-Yo Ma certainly is a powerful advocate and ambassador for the support of the arts. All of the arts.

I just finished watching this video and I am almost speechless. The emotion invoked by the passion of those who perform here is beyond words. Yo-Yo Ma asks for support. He asks for us as a country to support the arts in every aspect of life. The arts are transformative. He asks that we as a country practice ” arts for life’s sake.”   Ma discusses the important facets of what a 21st century education must do. He tells that through research, important companies state what they look for in potential people to enter the workforce: one who is collaborative, flexible, imaginative and innovative.

All of those ideas are familiar to me. I am so happy that someone of such notoriety and great talent has the communication ability to put what is needed into words and examples that can relate to all. A better ambassador for the arts I cannot imagine. In this lecture, he makes every important point about how the arts connect to real life and how students learn collaboration and communication. Critical thinking skills are a must and important by-product of arts education. He connects the arts to other things in life people do and need to do and understand.

So now what?  I want to be involved with this movement. I am in a small way, but I want to partner with the people who are taking action so there will be more action. I have already looked into how to contact Yo-Yo Ma. I haven’t come up with a sure way yet. After all, I don’t want an autograph or a fan picture. I want to join the team. We can take what he has done successfully and apply it to any small venue. It will work. I am doing it in part, but the endorsement of a super talent would work miracles. It can open ears that aren’t really listening. The performances in this video speak.

So anyone out there who wants to join, let’s do it. There is no time to wait or waste. Write members of the US Congress STEAM Caucus. Write Yo-Yo Ma. Write Americans for the Arts. Let me know your ideas. Don’t allow the dust to gather. If we all work together this can happen to reform and rethink education. Join the STEAM TEAM!


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