In an era where arts programs are being underfunded, under-appreciated, and sometimes cut altogether, it is important to highlight the programs that provide opportunities focused on nurturing the next generation of artists. Through my work at ACH Clear Pathways this semester, I hope to foster a love and enthusiasm for the arts and create an environment that recognizes how art affects the learning experience.
In a study from 2006 conducted by the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, data was found that supports the theory that involvement in the arts improves student learning in the fields of literacy and critical thinking. According to Randy Kennedy, of the New York Times:
The study found that students in the program performed better in six categories of literacy and critical thinking skills — including thorough description, hypothesizing and reasoning — than did students who were not in the program.Kennedy, Randy. “Guggenheim Study Suggests Arts Education Benefits Literacy Skills.” New York Times. 27 Jul. 2006: Web. 30 Jan. 2020.
With this study in mind, it is no wonder that art-specific after school programs such as ACH Clear Pathways are becoming so popular. When schools refuse to support their own programs, these supplemental curriculums provide students with the opportunity to continue to grow in an environment more conducive to artistic growth.
I have many goals and ideas that I am looking forward to implementing throughout the semester. From projects surrounding representation and discrimination to bringing in an outside speaker to talk to the students about the benefits of art education, I hope to expose the students to provoking questions through the lens of multiple artistic mediums. I look forward to updating this blog, and sharing all of the amazing projects that ACH Clear Pathways will be undertaking this spring.