Updated: Mar 2
A joke I recently read: "Get your kids into art, and they'll never have enough money for drugs." As is often the case, there's truth hidden in the joke that has nothing to do with the financial aspect of creating art and everything to do with kids and art as a pairing that can set them on a healthier and happier path through life, making the benefits long lasting.
To be in an emotional space where they can disconnect from a reality that, especially for young people, at times can be overwhelming, distracting or painful and dwell in a place that is uniquely, completely and without compromise their own has benefits that are
difficult to quantify, and at the same time obvious to any artist.
During the time I served on the board of AAOS we had quite a few meetings where supporting kids in doing art was the topic of conversation. AAOS has awarded scholarships to students who we felt deserved a little leg-up on their path to more education.
I have written in this newsletter in the past about the health benefits for one’s brain that come with the practice of art, which of course applies to the younger crowd every bit as much as it does to us grown-ups. In fact, research has shown that when schools offer classes in art, visual as well as performing, and including music, the retention/graduation rates go up. This is an added benefit in our area where graduation rates are shockingly low.
So, as art is generally the first thing that goes when school budgets are cut, AAOS has made an effort in the past to counteract this trend by encouraging students to participate in exhibits. Unfortunately, as our organization is growing older and we have been lacking in able bodied volunteers, the tradition of having a youth-exhibit in conjunction with the annual Fine Art, Photography and 3-D Show had to be discontinued.
So my plea goes out to you, our members: If you are interested in helping to revive this tradition, please contact a board member in person or via email on the AAOS web site. We need help in organizing, setting up and connecting with the local schools. Your participation can be in small or larger chunks of time.
Kids are our future, help us help them to become well rounded, happier, healthier individuals.