Building Creative Capacity for World Citizenship

What does the latest research show about the invaluable contribution of the arts to human development and potential, and to preparing students to be truly global citizens of an increasingly shrinking world?

Inger Gegory - NHAEAABC World Citizens Board Member Inger Gregory discussed these and other related themes in a workshop “Building Creative Capacity for World Citizenship” presented October 15, 2011 at the annual conference of the New Hampshire Art Educators Association (NHAEA). The conference’s theme was “Art is a Whole-Brainer”, with focus on what science is discovering about the vital integrative role that the arts play in human development and learning worldwide.

Gregory’s workshop for art educators from throughout new Hampshire also aimed to build awareness of the initiatives made on behalf of art education worldwide, and to introduce the findings from two UNESCO (United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization) world conferences in Art Education in Lisbon, Portugal, (2006) and Seoul, Korea, (2010). Each of these highlighted the powerful role of the arts to drive individual and collective change for the betterment of the world, and art education as a universal human right for all learners, everywhere.

2011 New Hampshire Art Educators Association Conference flyer
2011 New Hampshire Art Educators Association Conference flyer

The UNESCO Road Map for Art Educators document notes: “As extensive educational literature illustrates, experiencing and developing appreciation and knowledge of the arts enables the development of unique perspectives on a wide range of subject areas; perspectives which cannot be discovered through any other educational means.”

An art educator for 28 years, Gregory shared her experience of trying to impart the gifts of civilization from the minimal resources of a push cart as she traveled between classrooms in the early days of her career with no classroom of her own. She also described the power of the arts that she witnessed once school districts recognized their irreplaceable value to education and students were offered the rich environment of a studio approach.

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