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Arts is key to education

June 12, 2010

I couldn’t agree more with [Mickey Maurer’s] commentary in the May 31 issue in which you speak of the importance of arts as a fundamental part of early-childhood education.

St Mary’s Child Center, Day Nursery Association, Head Start and many other preschool and day-care centers around Indianapolis provide our youngest learners with a nurturing and stimulating environment. These organizations also recognize the important role that arts play in early learning.

Young Audiences Indiana (YA) has partnered with all these organizations to provide arts education programs because YA shares their belief that arts education levels the playing field for all early learners.

One of the many arts education programs I’ve observed was a recent dance performance presented by Young Audiences. Susurrus Dance Co., led by Melli Hoppe, performed a piece titled “River.” The dance was interpretative, leaving space for inspiration and imagination. When the performance began, you could hear a pin drop. The faces of the young children and their families who had filled the warm, overcrowded room were riveted on the dancers.

We too often underestimate a young child’s ability to be engaged and inspired, but I have witnessed time and time again the power of the arts to promote creativity.

Like you, I believe that a young child who participates in arts learning experiences that nurture creativity, self-awareness and awareness of the larger world, become rigorous, nimble thinkers later in life.

Interactive arts education programs promote positive mental habits, stimulate curiosity, and motivate students—essential elements for all learners.

Every child deserves quality early-childhood education that includes quality arts experiences.

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JoEllen Florio Rossebo
President and CEO
Young Audiences, Arts for Learning

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