Support the arts
July 23, 2012
by Jenni Sebora

Have your children shared their dreams with you? Maybe they want to be a musician? An artist? An underwater diver?

Then, have you responded with your own realities and dreams for them that don’t match with what they are sharing?

We may feel that our intentions are good, and that we know what is best for them. However, when we respond in such ways, we squelch our children’s sense of possibilities.

My 15-year-old son has a strong interest in the arts and has expressed an interest in pursuing a possible career in the area, most likely music. He is creative and loves writing, reading, and playing various instruments, of which I have lost count. There is always some instrument sound coming from his bedroom.

My husband and I have supported his musical endeavors and his love of writing, reading, music, and his creativity. He has a sense of humor, which I believe is a partner in his varied interests.

We know that we cannot force interests on our children; that we need to support their positive energy and their healthy interests. To be passionate about your career and what you do is truly what brings happiness.

I have a picture hanging in my house that contains these words, “A person needs just three things to be truly happy . . . Someone to love, Something to do, Something to hope for.” Simple, but true.

We want our children to believe in possibilities. Imagination leads to creativity. Creativity leads to problem solving and looking at issues from different angles.

In fact, according to a 2007 report on the Education and Economic National Center, creativity is crucial to the future economic success of our country.

Employers will look for the most competent, creative, and most innovative candidates to hire as their employees.

The arts help our children develop their creativity.

In an article on the importance of arts education in artsusa.org, it was stressed that the arts provide a logical counterbalance to the trend of standardized testing and should not be marginalized just because the curriculum is more difficult to measure.

With all of the testing that our students have to undertake in school, it seems that fine arts is taking a back seat to other areas of curricula. We, as parents, need to continue to support the arts for our children, both in school and at home.

American for Arts, 2002, noted that art stimulates and develops imagination and critical thinking and refines cognitive and creative sills. It has a tremendous impact on the developmental growth of every child. Engaging in creative endeavors – the arts – helps support and grow all other learning areas.

The arts teaches kids life skills, such as developing an informed perception, articulating a vision, learning to solve problems, making decisions, building self-confidence, and developing the ability to imagine what might be.

Albert Einstein said, “Imagination is more important than knowledge. Imagination requires students to create something from nothing.”

Even though your child may not pursue a career in the arts someday, having them engage in the arts in some fashion – visual arts, music, or drama – is important to grow their imagination, creativity, and problem-solving skills.

My youngest daughter recently took an art class at the Hen House in New Germany. This art studio offers a variety of art classes for children and adults, even a Mom’s night out class, “Relax and Be Still Life.” Adults could benefit from using our imaginations, too.

There are lots of local communities that also offer some type of theatrical experiences for children and adults alike to participate in. My daughter belongs to a local theater company and has participated in a few different productions. Theater allows her to express her creativity.

Community education in our communities offers wonderful opportunities for our children to practice their imagination and creativity. It is important that we, as parents, support our children in their play and imagination.

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