by Patrick Torres, Middle School and High School Program Director
We all get bombarded on a daily basis with videos and articles that our friends and acquaintances expect us to read or watch. So, my reaction is to generally not watch or read anything that seems to be flooding my Facebook page or inbox. But every now and then something is “liked” so many times or shared by more than one friend that I have a hard time ignoring it or writing it off as a passing fad that would be a waste of time. I mean I truly don’t care to see a kitten play the piano…but, earlier this week I felt compelled to watch this video that kept popping up among my circle of friends. And now, I am asking you to watch the video as well…it is long – about 11 minutes – but I promise it is time well spent! Go ahead…I’ll wait. Seriously…if you keep reading now it will spoil the video…so go ahead and watch it!
Wasn’t it awesome! I find myself wishing that John Bohannon’s vision would just be true right now. I would love to watch dancers perform instead of sitting through any more power point presentations, but I think his vision goes so much deeper than that. At its heart, I believe what his presentation is driving at is the arts are a critical part of our lives that we cannot afford to lose because they make complex ideas more understandable. You see we shouldn’t be having a conversation about whether or not the arts are expendable; rather, we should be trying to figure out ways to move arts back to the center of civic dialogue. We should be seeking ways that the arts can help us solve problems or come together in a public forum for civil discourse. Truthfully, I believe TAP is an organization who works very hard to live this out in our programs. We work with students to see art as a tool for examining the world around them, for understanding the social issues present in their world, and for learning how to look at any situation from multiple perspectives in an effort to build empathy for people who see the world differently than they do. And we see people pay attention to things our youth have to say when they express themselves through the arts. So it is happening…and maybe it will be one of our students who make John Bohannon’s vision of a world where art and science work together even more directly impact in our world and the way we understand complex issues.
And you can help us achieve this wish! Visit our Amazon Wishlist and help us continue to show students that the arts are essential to understanding our world!