ArtsUSA.org Blog

  • Art as a Process, Not Just a Product for Young Children
    About 5.5 years ago, the Chief Operating Officer and Owner of Hildebrandt Learning Centers (HLC), Bill Grant, offered me the trip of a lifetime, a visit to the Reggio Emilia Schools in Reggio Emilia, Italy. These programs in Italy are known as to be some of the best early care and learning programs worldwide from […]
  • Can the Arts Plant Seeds for a Brighter Future?
    In Anne Midgette’s February 2013 article for The Washington Post magazine, the headline asked “Can the Arts Save Students?” After spending many years working in the arts and education arena, I think the better headline might read, “Can the arts plant seeds for a brighter future”? And, I believe the answer is a firm and […]
  • Play to Make Art
    The single most important thing I learned about building an appreciation for art in children, I learned from watching my children grow and learn and working with preschoolers and their parents. Here it is…you have to walk away from paint and paper to have grand adventures before walking back towards paint and paper (and all […]
  • Degree of Entry?
    During the last Americans for the Arts Annual Convention in San Antonio, I had the privilege of facilitating a roundtable on how to navigate a mid-career shift to the arts. The remarkable individuals I met during that discussion reinforced one of the things I love about arts administration and the arts in general, their entry […]
  • Lizard Brains & Other Learnings from the Preschool Classroom
    My professional journey into early childhood education surprised me. Childsplay, the theatre for young audiences where I work, was invited to be a keynote experience at a local Head Start conference. At this time, we were heavily focused on Drama Frames, an Arts Education Model Development and Dissemination grant program funded by the U.S. Department […]
  • Getting Parents On Board With Creative Development
    The ubiquitous hand-print turkey—to me, a symbol of how artmaking during early childhood is trivialized, as it pertains to the serious stuff of developing (or crushing) critical aptitudes needed in the 21st century. Preserving and developing the creativity of the young child through quality artmaking experiences—it’s a challenge for those of us who were artistically […]
  • Concept-based Creative Dance for Babies & Toddlers
    Babies and toddlers love to move! Any parent or caregiver can tell you that. For further demonstration, just look at the happy expression on their little faces as they flap their arms like a bird or their sheer focus and determination as they scoot across the floor on their tummies: kids just seem to have […]
  • Quickly Making a Difference in Early Childhood Arts Education
    There seems to be an unstated assumption that any change in how the arts are utilized in early childhood education requires that the focus be on influencing and shaping the pedagogy of the teachers who currently work directly with this age group. That seems like a practical strategy, but we all know how challenging it […]

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