The Legacy Arts in Education Program brings experiential arts learning into the core K-8 educational curriculums, through a visiting artists system, with the objective of teaching our children to see, to promote analytical thinking in all other areas of learning, and to engage the hand/heart connection for life.
The Legacy Arts program is the underpinning for the circumstances in life that cry out for expression and release, such as healing, managing stress, for expanding our personal frames of reference, and for simply enjoying the world around us. Art is everywhere. It is as essential as play is essential in a well balanced life. But unfortunately, since the 1950's we have systematically removed personal expression, abstract idea formulation, and experiential problem solving, i.e. art, out of education, and as a result, out of our culture. We can't continue to let this happen. The future of our culture without art is not acceptable. Parents in private schools are recognizing this and are beginning to find programs to reintroduce art to our future society, our children, many of them taken from European programs such as the Reggio Emilia system. However, few are based on our American culture, and the public schools are way behind.
The art we speak of in this context is not about training future artists, although those that have a gist will surely flourish. It's not about learning to draw a horse. It's experiential. It's about learning to see, to make visual decisions with confidence, to appreciate the fine arts, to recognize art in daily life, to take pleasure in the visual environment, to promote analytical thinking, to encourage and nurture creative thinking in all other disciplines as well as in fine art.
Arts education enhances the learning [processes in other areas: in literature, math, social studies and science. Research has proven the effectiveness of creative learning adjacent to liberal arts in improvement of analytical thinking. The optimum and longer term objective would be not only an assessment of the arts benefits, but to invite participation in assessing the effects of the program on other areas of learning.
Our objective is to develop an American arts program for K-8, core to the public school system, piloted by the art community itself, those who have the experience and passion, rather than loading the already maxed teaching community.
When our children become comfortable with creative expression, as adults they will also turn to those forms of expression in times of crisis and growth, as had been demonstrated by the untold stories of survivorship by will and spirit through the hand/heart catharsis. The responsibility for this work sits squarely on the shoulders of America 's artists. They have the passion and energy. The needs are identified. And the leadership of the American arts communities are enthusiastic about these goals. What we need is the philanthropic support to build the research and development agenda, bring the talent into conference, and create the programming.
Upon selection of a pilot school, three grades participating, we present the following goals:
To create a dynamic arts program based on experiential learning techniques, that is sequential for K-8, expanding to Grade 12;
To develop a program that does not depend on talent or accomplishment but rather energy and participation, and that promotes visual curiosity;
To integrate expertise into community without further loading existing platforms;
To create a long range funding strategy to ensure continuity;
To create a program that responds to the changing demographic needs of community;
To develop program materials and teaching aids for national distribution;
To organize a national arts education conference in Grand Junction profiling the pilot school;
To develop a master video series on experiential arts education for national distribution.
Provided we can attain our research and development funding goals for this program, we will in 2006-2007 complete our current research and our sequential pilot program for a weekly hour in-curriculum for a school local to Grand Junction. We have the school and have been offered four classes of students for three years. We have full approval and cooperation from the school board, the principal and the faculty to proceed when we are ready.
We are currently focused on raising funds through private philanthropy and grants.
If you are interested in participating in any way, please do not hesitate in contacting us at Eagleheart Center for Art and Inquiry.
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