Arts and Living Spaces

I took this picture while taking a bicycle ride around the southern end of Manhattan Island with my youngest brother a few months ago.  There were many places like this, where people could rest, read, talk, think, and engage in Tai Chi.

I frequently talk about the arts and how they apply to living and working today. I think that one of the misconceptions that many of us have about creativity, when we think and talk about 21st century skills, is that we confine our notions to art, music, and drama. We look at a picture that a student drew for her book report and say, “You are so creative.” As I’ve written and said before, I prefer the term inventive over creative, because it implies resourcefully solving a problem or accomplishing a goal — which to me is a large part of what 21st century skills are about.

Inventiveness certainly does not exclude art and music, especially when the picture drawn for the book report expresses some aspect of the story in a way that would not be possible with mere words. Artistic, musical, and performance expressions are highly effective tools for solving problems of communication and fabricating useful experiences.  I continue to maintain that the creative arts should be emphasized in schools to the same degree and often for the same reasons that we are emphasizing science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.

Along these lines, I ran across this Twitter post from Richard Florida, announcing a webcast being sponsored by the National Endowment for the Arts

Looking to the Creative PlaceMaking Event today with NEA & Canada Council RT @LivableCities -http://bit.ly/a2HbeP

The panelists (Carol Coletta [moderator], Richard Florida, Tim Jones, Rick Lowe, and Ann Markusen) will talk about the role of the arts in creating livable and sustainable communities.  You can read about the 3:00PM (EDT) webcast in the News Room of the NEA web site and also at LAStageBlog.

Author: David Warlick

David Warlick has been an educator for the past 40+ years. He continues to do some writing, but is mostly seeking his next intersect between play, passion and purpose, dabbling in photography, drone videography and music production.