Wednesday, March 28, 2012

What Art Truly Means

Here is a blog about Pat Potter's experiences!

Picture this - It's 6am on a cool March morning, no one else is up yet. The house is quiet except for the hum of the furnace. The sun has yet to show it's early light as she turns on the lamp to the den where her big mirror sits, propped against the wall waiting for her like an old friend. She dons her ballet shoes and begins the morning's practice, holding onto the back of a chair as if it were her own personal ballet barrre. Slow tendus are her subject this morning, as controlled and perfect as she can, toes pointed, slowly moving her delicately bowed foot to the side in a precise, predetermined route... each time a little better than the last.
As she watches herself in the mirror, she doesn't see an eleven year old girl practicing one of the most basic of ballet movements. In her mind's eye, she's on stage in front of thousands of people performing her favorite ballet, The Nutcracker. Her head is filled with the cacophony of sounds coming from the orchestra pit. The lights are warm and bright as the other dancers move around her seemingly effortless. She floats across the dance floor and off into the stage wings and has to quickly change into another costume before going back onto the stage. She is alive in a way only she can feel... she is dreaming of her future.
This scene plays out every morning in many homes, including my own. My daughter's chosen art, dance, has impacted her life positively in so many ways. She's learning discipline, time management skills and how to be a part of something larger than herself. She's learning how to deal with success and failure in a positive and healthy way. She's learning how to be a strong, confident young woman who values her body and her mind and realizes that she has something unique to give back to society. She may graduate from her dance school and never step foot on another stage but the lessons she learned there will stay with her throughout life, indeed enhancing her life in a way that is both valuable and quantifiable.
I realize I'm partial to my own child's artistic journey and art form but, this can be said for any art that one participates in wholly regardless of age. The ability to pull from oneself that which is our essence, our passion is the true function of art, a function from which our society benefits. We are the sum of our experiences and when an art form is part of that experience subset, we are made better by it.
I can wax philosophic about this topic for hours but most of us who work in the arts can attest to the fact that those who participate in artistic endeavors report that it positively affects many other aspects of their lives. There are a multitude of studies which support this sentiment, so why aren't the arts garnering more support? There are many reasons, but I believe the onus falls on us to advocate for change. We are not elitists, rather we are humanists and it's up to us to change the stigma and educate society of the importance of art in our lives.

Monday, March 26, 2012

An interesting link

Here is an interesting article from the Harvard Business Review. Let me hear what you think!

Creative Impact Awards

Eight terrific agencies and artists were granted the first ever Creative Impact Awards. These awards were designed as a result of our Community Cultural Plan which called for us to 'open our tent' and have an impact on the York Cultural community through creativity.

We did just that and heard from some impactful programs and projects throughout the county. When you see them congratulate them!

New Freedom Heritage $21,600
The Creation of a passive video and an interactive kiosk that depicts the evolution of historic landmarks in the Borough of New Freedom. The passive video will be displayed in the Heritage Theater, a part of the heritage Museum of New Freedom and will be available for viewing on the New Freedom Heritage website. The interactive kiosk will leverage and expand on the passive video. The kiosk will be available for deployment to local schools to use for educational purposes and to local retirement homes for the benefit of t our aging citizens.

Hanover Lancers $2,000
A three hour concert involving Alumni Drum & Bugle Corps from Four (4) states. Also expect either the US Naval Academy Drum & Bugle Corp from Annapolis, MD or the US Air Force Academy Drum & Bugle Corp. from Colorado Springs to participate in the show. The goal is to give the residents of York County this unique music in an indoor setting. High school bands will be invited. Hope to inspire youth and cultivate an enthusiasm for this music.

Robert Miller $2,000
Retired director of the William Penn Performing Arts Institute (23 years). Produces the Rosies, high school award program, at the Strand. The York Summer Arts Institute will offer a one-week intensive program for approximately 40 students. Students will major in either the visual or the performing arts. Professionals from the Strand-Capitol and YorkArts will work with internationally acclaimed artists in developing their skills and talents, while learning about the possibilities and problems of a life in the Arts. Students will be selected by their high school directors and teachers. Students not selected will however, have the opportunity to audition for inclusion in the program. There will be no cost to students.

Don Gogniat $1,500
Retired Campus Executive of Penn State York, Director of International Programs for Penn State. PhD in Cultural Geography from the University of Pittsburgh. Each of the 700 students on the fall voyage of Semester at Sea 2012 will be asked to work in a group of no more than 7 people and choose a topic that can be researched and documented in at least 7 countries on the voyage. They will prepare a DVD on the topic selected. The videos from each of the chosen countries will look at how the topic has “migrated” and/or “mutated from its place of origin. For example a group may choose “searching for cross-cultural patterns in hip-hop music.” Could be about people (migration patterns), Ideas (democracy, capitalism, education), Culture (art, music, dance, language), or things (food, clothing, transportation, architecture, gardens). The result will be an exhibition entitled, “Atlantic Ocean Cross-Currents: Four Continents of Blended Cultures.” The DVD will be available to any student from the voyage to send it to their high school, hometown or university. A website will be established for viewing the individual videos.

Jewish Community Center $4,500
The culture of childhood that played outside is gone and children’s everyday life has shifted to the indoors. We will hold workshops that will provide resources and inspiration to help adults more effectively reach pre-school through elementary children through re-connecting the children with the creative wonders of nature. Some of the workshops will take place in our natural playscape allowing adults and children to work hands-on while learning how to bring nature and the natural arts into children’s lives on a regular basis. Outdoor play and exploration involves art forms such as sculpture, gardening, and music. Local organizations and artists will include YorkArts, York Gardening Club, and York Art Association.

New Hope Academy Charter School $17,618
Fund the purchase of mobile piano learning lab based on iPads and ION Piano Apprentice Keyboards. They system blends technology and the classic art in a way that students understand and embrace.

Foundry Plaza Inc. Two Schools and a Creek $15,000
Logos Academy and York Academy Regional Charter School together with Foundry Plaza Inc plan to build creative outdoor play spaces in the Codorus corridor. “Image a classroom with the sky for a ceiling and the earth as a floor . . .” this project will, “Create an environment that promotes healthy and creative play that engages the whole child . . .” Once completed, these play spaces will “serve as a model for other organizations and communities working to integrate art into their development projects.”

ForSight Vision $5,000
The Art class for Children Who Are Blind will build a large-scale mosaic project. The mosaic will be the focal point for a renovated entrance into the building. The art class will give sight impaired children the same experiences as those enjoyed by sighted children. They will be exposed to various art mediums in a safe and nurturing environment. The children also learn appropriate social skills and creative problem solving skills. Since art is neither right nor wrong, the children flourish in this atmosphere of acceptance.

We are now revisiting the Creative Impact Awards - from expectations, to process, and even the application. Please check out our website for the fall announcement of the awards and even better - check out these fabulous funded projects. We are proud to help make them happen.