Daniel Pink: “The Arts Matter!”

Daniel Pink, author of the ETA essential read A Whole New Mind: Why Right-Brainers Will Rule the Future, spoke recently in Orange County to a packed house of educators, business types and arts supporters about why, exactly the arts matter.  The Orange County Register did a great piece on the event, and it sounds like it was an exciting time for some exciting thinking:

Pink was in O.C. to talk about the importance of arts education in forming a well-rounded, competitive job-force warrior — apparently a subject of intense interest in Orange County, not only among teachers (of which there were many in the audience) but within the business community as well (they were the ones in the dark suits thumbing away on their Blackberries).

Teachers and school administrators are looking for new ways to justify the conservation of arts curriculum in an era of draconian cutbacks. H.R. types, trying to keep abreast of the rapidly changing needs and conditions of the workplace, are rethinking the definition of the well-trained and adaptive employee.

I think it’s hilarious that big companies are now realizing that an MBA isn’t the only route to well-formed business savvy.  It’s a recent change…I remember my freshman year of college as a film major, one of our professors spent an entire day of class discussing why a theatre and film degree would soon be the new MBA.  Despite still being in full-on “art for art’s sake” mode at the time, the idea stuck with me…and it’s great to hear it validated more and more in legit circles.

Check this out:

Pink’s approach…makes a much bolder claim: in a world where entire industries can disappear seemingly overnight and highly trained workers are made redundant by new technology and outsourcing, arts education isn’t merely a marginally helpful addition to the well-rounded curriculum; it’s an essential rung on the ladder that will lead American workers to full and meaningful employment in fields of the future — a level of preparation that American education does not currently provide.

Author Daniel Pink

Do they know about the Institute For Arts Entrepreneurship?  Should we tell them?  He also discusses the concept of turning the curriculum core of STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) into STEAM (science, technology, engineering, ARTS and math).  I love it.  Because unlike a lot of technology systems, the arts are a constantly learnable field that continues to evolve without ever becoming outdated.  You can learn to think creatively and not have to worry about your creativity becoming redundant in six months time…because you CREATE how you CREATE.

Check out the whole article at the Orange County Register. For more info on Daniel Pink, check out his website. Dan!  We should talk!

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