In 2013 I had an opportunity to teach art at a private elementary school in Van Nuys, California. I was very excited when the job was offered to me. I knew the kids were in a unique position as well; just having an art class to begin with is somewhat of a luxury these days. My generation may be one of the last to see public schools offering creative programs like art and music.
Art programs are often the first to be cut when it comes to educational funding. This is pretty shocking from an artist's point of view. But, I have come to understand why some people feel this is the best financial decision. Something has to go first, right? Since it is difficult to put in words and numbers what art - creativity - does for a child's development, the same difficulty arises when gauging its worth.
Of course, to a professional artist, it's a no-brainer. I argue, however, that it should be a no-brainer for anyone well, with a brain. Cultivating creativity could be one of the most powerful educational tasks a society imparts onto its young. After all, being able to think creatively is what made the lightbulb, the iPhone, the steam engine - even fire itself - possible.
The true sign of intelligence is not knowledge but imagination. - Albert Einstein
So what is it about the arts that make it so hard to quantify, and thus justify being a necessary part of our lives. Specifically, our educational programs? In a word: application.
The goal of The Secret City of Amazing Things is to teach our children how powerful art can be by applying it to real-world challenges.
How can we learn to work together to make this world a more beautiful place?
This is the question that started The Secret City of Amazing Things.