We just returned from a luncheon/fundraiser for Artists Creating Together (ACT). This is an amazing organization that "brings people with disabilities together with artists and art projects." At the luncheon, we were entertained, fed, given a handmade key chain, and provided information about ACT's efforts.
Then the mother of one of the individuals highlighted in the video, Drew, gave a moving speech about what ACT has meant to her family. Finally, we were asked to consider what each of us might be able to give to support programs like these.
This was not a surprise. After all, it was a fundraiser. But it got me thinking.
I am grateful for organizations like ACT that are supporting people who are often left on the margins, and I would encourage you to support their work by going here and making a donation. However, when it comes to the arts, we all benefit from creative experiences. Unfortunately, in the current educational climate of college and career readiness and teacher accountability, "specials" like art and music are often the first to be sacrificed because of a lack of resources - time (spent instead on test-prep) and money (spent instead on standardized-tests).
I long for an educational system where tests and test-prep are done outside the school day, and where we fund the arts and hold fundraisers for standardized tests.