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In celebration of creativity

November 12, 2008 - LLee Janssen

This is a shining week in Williamsport.

This is a shining week for a once young girl who was told she couldn't be an artist as she wouldn't be able to support herself painting pretty pictures. So she chose to be a writer instead.

The starving artists in the crowd may all laugh. It's okay ... joke's on me, but somehow writing for the newspaper, even though it's no way to get rich, allowed that once young girl to tap into her creative talents and support not just herself but her offspring. And to find a worklife she enjoys.

This is a shining week for the once young offspring of that once young girl. One may now just play his bass for kicks in his freetime. The other may play the drums and bells, the banjo and marimba, the noisemakers and music machines and be a starving artist in his own right. And somehow he is able to pay his own bills and support himself on his musical talents and aspirations.

This is a shining week for the latter offspring's once young friend turned musical partner who could have had an Oberlin education but chose instead to pursue his dreams and be that starving artist. And it's a shining week for his mother, who believes not only in the passions of her sons but in the hope and opportunity for the rural community where these youngsters grew up.

And it's hope not just for her sons, and not just for my sons, but for all of the children of Williamsport and surrounding areas. This is a shining week for all of the creative youngsters who like art class best. Or music or dance.

This is a shining week for a renewed commitment to funding the arts in education. It wasn't all that long ago that music and art were on the budget chopping block. But this week we heard from Sir Ken Robinson, who delivered the keynote speech at the Governor's Arts Awards here today, Nov. 12.

We must make the arts the beating heart of education, he said.

And we must treat children as people, not units of improvement. Who can argue with that?

 
 

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