A video made by Pulptastic.com asked people of all ages what they would change about their bodies.
The adults focused on their height, skin or ears, but the kids answered with inspiring honesty: “I would grow wings, so I could fly,” and “I would like a mermaid tail.” This imagination should be nurtured and celebrated. This is what the arts inspire. This is everyday magic.
As we’ve written in the past, a large body of research supports the many benefits of arts education for children, individuals, families, schools, communities and the world.
Practicing and exploring art has been shown to increase neural connectivity, motivation, confidence and attendance. Increasing access to and involvement in arts activities and curriculum encourages students not only to stay in school, but to be more engaged and successful in school – which leads to success in life.
This April, the Durango Arts Center celebrates and honors our local art ecosystem of schools, teachers and young artists with our 21st Annual Creativity Festivity, “Everyday Magic,” which illuminates the extraordinary in everyday arts programming in our schools and the everyday imagination that is alive and well in our young artists.
The event highlights the work of our art teachers and their students and the value of an arts curriculum in our community. Every year, local art teachers select works from their students in kindergarten though grade 12 for the Festivity exhibit. The exhibit of children’s work is integrated into the current exhibit in the Barbara Conrad Gallery, which this year will be “Purple Cats and Green Skies: The Influence of Children’s Art on the 20th Century Art World,” a group show curated by local artist Juanita Ainsley featuring the works of artists Melanie Yazzie, Natalie Goldberg, Rodney Hatfield and Ainsley herself.
Everyday Magic includes a free lecture by Judith Reynolds, “Innocent Wisdom; The Influence of Children’s Art on 20th Century Artists,” from 3 to 4:30 p.m. April 2, the annual high school poetry slam at 5 p.m. April 22 and the DAC Applause! performance of Xanadu Jr. at 7 p.m. April 10 and 3 p.m. April 11. Xanadu Jr. also will be performed at local elementary schools. The artwork of high school students will be shown at the Steaming Bean Coffee Co. during the month of May. Details are available at www.durangoarts.org.
According to the national arts advocacy nonprofit Americans for the Arts: “The arts are essential. They teach students innumerable lessons – practice makes perfect, small differences can have large effects, collaboration leads to creativity. The arts also teach children that there are several paths to take when approaching problems and that all problems can have more than one solution.”
Like Americans for the Arts, DAC also envisions a community where everyone has access to – and takes part in – high-quality and lifelong learning experiences in the arts, both in school and in the community.
firstname.lastname@example.org. Elsa Jagniecki is the marketing coordinator for Durango Arts Center.