SchoolArts Magazine

DEC 2012

SchoolArts is a national art education magazine committed to promoting excellence, advocacy, and professional support for educators in the visual arts since 1901.

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Page 51 of 56

ADVOCACY The Power of the Narrative Keep Inspiration Alive Hilary Frambes I Stories as Building Blocks t seems that several times a year, an article or study comes out tout- I recently interviewed four local art teachers, ranging from elementary ing the many benefits of art eduto high school, and twenty students cation. Statistics are a great way using a series of general questions to prove the value of something, but about art education, in order to make unfortunately for the field of art edutwo art education advocacy videos. cation, they don't seem to be enough During the interviews, I asked the to change the minds of policymakers art teachers if they and taxpayers. We must change the thought art education As art educators, we know firsthand master narrative of art was still relevant in the impact our art education through the the twenty-first century and what they classes have on our use of popular media, thought was imporstudents. It's those in order to advocate for tant for children to little successes that art education beyond learn in art class, aren't readily apparalong with a few ent in student art the school walls. other questions about shows. Sure, the end creativity and critical-thinking skills. product looks great in the school hallI asked students general questions ways, but there's so much more to art about art class as well, including what than the end product. J. Ulbricht tells they liked about art class, if they us that we must change the master thought art class was important to narrative of art education through have in schools, and what they would the use of popular media in order to like to be when they grow up. advocate for art education beyond the school walls. 12 December 2012 These questions allowed for the natural flow of conversation to occur and resulted in wonderful illuminations that go beyond the end products in student art shows. These stories and insights are about the process of questioning, exploring multiple possibilities, and art-making. Showing the Process As I was working on this project, I reached out to education expert Diane Ravitch for advice on my video project. She told me that "the best advocacy that I have seen for the arts is the kids performing. When you see the joy on their faces, you become an advocate for them and the arts." Again, it's about the process, not the end product. I chose to include film footage of students creating chalk drawings on pavement as well as still shots of students painting, drawing, and making collages as cutaways during my video interviews. Continued on page XX. Win $500 from SchoolArts Continued from page 12. Effective Messaging It's been said that people only remember a portion of what they hear. Keeping that in mind, it's important to hone your advocacy message. Saying too much will only result in your message getting lost. Try to think of an overarching message that ties all of the stories together. In my case, I used "Every Child Deserves an Art Education" for one video, where I focused on the joy of art-making. The theme of my other video, "Art Education Builds Twenty-First-Century Skills," focuses on how art class helps prepare students for the future. These overarching messages help drive home the message of the importance of art education. Spreading the Message Once I edited the footage and added cutaways, music, and transitions, I uploaded my two videos to YouTube and shared them on social media outlets, such as Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr,, and Art Education 2.0. This step of utilizing networking tools is so important in advocating for the arts in the twenty-first century. DIY Advocacy The wonderful thing about this video project is that any art teacher can replicate it. All you need are some enthusiastic students, an art teacher or two, and a video camera. Most of us have access to video editing tools, and have the Internet and social media at our disposal. You too, can be an advocate for art education, harness the power of the narrative, and educate the public on the many benefits of art education. Send us your most inspired adaptation of a SchoolArts lesson for a chance to win a $500 gift certifcate from Nasco Arts & Crafts! Hilary Frambes is an art educator and art education advocate in Plain City, Ohio. Web Link Visit us on Facebook at SchoolArtsMagazine for rules and submission information. 49

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