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Let's Celebrate Arts Education! | National Arts Education Week 2020

September 17, 2020 | Features

IT’S NATIONAL ARTS IN EDUCATION WEEK SEPTEMBER 13-19!
LET’S CELEBRATE WHAT GIVES SPARTANBURG THE EDGE IN ARTS IN EDUCATION!

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There is a synergy in Spartanburg’s arts education community that is palpable!  It is fueled by the diverse and dedicated educators, teaching artists, arts/history/science organizations working every day to give students and adults the creative edge that is found in personal creativity and imagination!

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Photo Taken 2017
For decades, students throughout Spartanburg County have enjoyed the benefits from the many layers of arts, science and history programs either at the Chapman Cultural Center or in their classrooms.  From residencies with artists such as Cherokee basket maker Nancy Basket, sculptor Bob Doster, or poet/writer Moody Black, to performances by nationally known Gullah storyteller Natalie Daise or Appalachian musician/storyteller John Thomas Fowler, or African musicians/storytellers Orisirisi, students have opportunities to experience and learn from top artists in their fields. 

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Photo Taken 2017
Innovative teachers include ways to reach diverse learners by teaching history through music or theatre, or teaching math through movement, etc.  The arts can make difficult concepts easier to understand.

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Photo Taken 2018

The arts reach students who might otherwise slip through the cracks.

Recent research confirms what we have suspected all along:  arts-rich schools report higher hope and engagement than the national average, and an arts-rich school can help neutralize the effects of poverty.  Surveyed arts-rich schools with free/reduced-price lunch programs participation of 75% or higher scored higher than the state average in the four elements linked to desirable student outcomes that are measured by the Gallup Student Poll:  engagement, hope, entrepreneurial aspiration, and career/financial literacy. 

An August 2020 survey of managers and HR professionals from 20 countries reports the top 5 “soft skills” they are seeking in employees are creativity, persuasion, collaboration, adaptability, and emotional intelligence—all skills that are developed through studying the arts!

Experiences with artists in schools as well as at the Spartanburg Science Center, Ballet Spartanburg’s Center for Dance Education, Spartanburg Art Museum’s Art School, Spartanburg Youth Theatre, Spartanburg Historical Association, and Spartanburg Philharmonic are all part of the amazing tapestry of creative opportunities that make Spartanburg’s arts education culture so rich and unique!

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