The Great Equalizer

I have recently discovered Channel 77 on Sirius XM ~ On Broadway! Depending on the timing of my scanning/searching I have landed on hits from the classics of Camelot to the recent additions of Hamilton and everything in between. In amongst the songs there are rich conversations between the hosts and their guests. Yesterday I happened upon one such conversation. The host was recounting a childhood memory of arriving in New York City to see a live performance. Her family had been traveling during the summer in a motor home and on this occasion, they landed tickets to a Broadway show and decided to go. Her initial concern (even though she was just six) was that all she had in her travel wardrobe was a pair of cut-off jeans and a T-shirt. Even at a young age she had made the connection between going to the theatre and formal attire. But it was her reflection that, “As soon as the house lights went down and the show started, it didn’t matter what I was wearing as the Arts are the great equalizer” which resonated so deeply with me. The phrase reminded me about a recent episode of, This is Us, where Rebecca reminisces about visiting the Metropolitan Art Gallery as a child and watching in awe as this woman spent hours looking at this one painting.  The emotions evoked by the painting are reflective of the experiences and emotions of the viewer.
That is what is so magical about the Arts ~ whether it is a song, a painting, a dance routine, or a live performance ~ each person who interacts with it is going to experience something personal, something unique and something poignant. No two reactions will ever be the same. The artist never discriminates against their audience. You do not need a tuxedo, a sequined gown, or a degree to be moved to tears, to be provoked or even disturbed by a composition, a collage or a choregraphed routine. There is no magical bank account balance, shade of skin colour or cultural background that prevents spectators from losing themselves or alternatively finding themselves within the Arts.

So, in knowing that, as we reflect on the important work of Equity in our schools, it is more important than ever that we ensure that our students are provided with as many opportunities as possible to not only experience all forms of the Arts, but to be encouraged to explore their connections and reactions.

There are so many ways to include the Arts into all of the curriculum areas.  When you reflect on your programming and the experiences that you are offering your students, how often do you infuse the Arts?

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