Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Soccer Moms - Make Room For Art Moms


My three grade school aged kids attend a wonderful school that happens to be a Charter School for the Arts (K-8). This is a public school not a private one. I feel very fortunate that we were able to get them into this school. All the teachers have masters degrees in art, music, etc. When this school opened there were over 150 extremely qualified teachers who applied. Because of this, the school is able to use creative means to teach the standard curriculum, and my kids are flourishing beyond words because of it. My children are also able to go on many special field trips (San Francisco Ballet, museums, etc.) and even have a mirrored dance room - which would have been a dream come true for me when I was a child. I recently read an article about an updated version of a Soccer Mom -- called "Amy the Art Mom" and I thought I'd share it. She sounded a little too familiar.
I am still longing to see -- or even hear about -- my political avatar, the Art Mom. Let's call her Amy the Art Mom. Amy the Art Mom is a fiercely dedicated mother of three who spends her weeknights and most of her weekends driving her kids from play rehearsals, to pottery classes, to the media-lab and then to piano recitals. In between work, making dinner, and her children's extracurricular activities, Amy attends school meetings to ensure that her children have art and music classes and that the schools have adequate teachers and facilities for these subjects. She scrimps a bit on her own clothes so that she can rent a musical instrument for her kid to play in the school band. Amy the Art Mom puts up with all this because she wants her children to succeed in life. She knows that 45% of the world's salaries are paid to people in the creative industries. She knows that more and more admissions officers at colleges and human resource professionals seek out applicants who have arts experience in their background. Amy the Art Mom knows that creativity and innovation give America the competitive edge in the global economy and that China and India are working assiduously to catch up. And Amy knows that the arts have a humanizing effect on her children -- when participating in the arts, she sees how her teenager is more engaged in school and how her younger kids are more curious about the world and all the people living in it. Amy the Art Mom votes too. She is appalled that of the last eight executive budgets handed to Congress, zero included funding for Arts Amy looks ahead and is furious that pending cuts in state and local funding may cause tuition increases at the local art center. She is frustrated at what could be a very limited menu of locally available cultural experiences for her family. She is looking for politicians who understand that there has never been a great civilization that didn't support and cultivate the arts whole-heartedly. She goes to Americans for the Arts website and reads the Congressional Arts Report Card. Alas, Amy the Art Mom has not materialized into real life yet but she is out there. We all need to hear from the Art Moms (and Dads), real world or otherwise. They are deeply connected with America's future and we should walk in solidarity with them.
(This story was courtesy of The Huffington Post)


vickie said...

Right on, great article -- I consider myself an "art mom"!

Charity Grace said...

What a beautiful blog you have. I homeschool, but I guess I am an "art mom" too. As I've been decluttering recently, I've tried to keep only things on which I place a high value. Tools for creativity/beauty/art were high on the list of things to KEEP! :)

Monique said...

what lucky kids to have that school available to them!

Krissy said...

great post! my mom was an art-mom. I'm sending her this :)

wild child said...

WOW. That was awesome.

Meg :)

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