Today was the last day of school for my old high school of which my sister is now a senior. I being an alumnus snuck myself to watch this winter tradition. I bring it up here because I think that it so perfectly describes the power of art in education. The performance was one hour long and consisted of different acts by different grades, for example some 6th graders read their own poetry while the first graders performed a procession and high school groups both sang and danced. The most memorable for me was what the fifth graders did; the sword dance. A highly choreographed performance involving swords that are incorporated into a star by the intercrossing of the dancer who are marching in a circle, sounds complicated, looks complicated, but as being once a fifth grader who did it, it isn’t that hard to pull off.
Regardless of what was performed, the performance as a whole brought the school together, from kindergarten to twelfth grade, from students to faculty, and my push will be to get alumni there as well. What I am trying to say is that it helps connect that community; it removes the boundary of age, of position, of background and allows us all to enjoy something together. Even better is the fact that there was no one dominating medium of artistic production, we had costumes, dancers, musicians, singers, writers, and of course an audience interaction and response (which I count as a whole other medium).
Sorry I don’t have much more to say just yet but I guess I want to add this one final thought.
I talk about art and write about art and produce art because it is fundamental to community.