artprize civilization

chalk 13

A few years ago, my children’s school cut the art program.  Technically they moved the teacher into a classroom and never hired someone new for the position.  While I grieve that decision for our community, I am pushed towards action for my children.  Two weekends ago we drove the hour between our home and Grand Rapids to take our children on our annual pilgrimage to see Art Prize.  On the way down we listened to a magic tree house episode Vikings at Sunrise,  the story transports the two kids back to the dark ages and time of the vikings.  Jack the young boy defines “civilization” as, ” when people have books and art and good manners.”

Here is some of what we experienced in our three-hour visit…  children busking.  Multiple street musicians.  Performance artists.  Jugglers.  Hundreds of pieces of art.  Sculptures made from recycled materials.  Sculptures made from nature.  Works in progress. “Mom, why are those people talking with their hands?” Compassion.  Knitted objects.  Murals the size of buildings.  Scale.  “Why are there so many dark-skinned people here.”  Diversity.  Art in the streets, taking over squares.  Art in museums, galleries, parking lots and alleys.  People.  Crowded sidewalks and bridges.  People interacting with art.  My children interacting with art.  Life engaged.

At the end of the day, it is not the government’s job to provide opportunities and the schools job solely to be teachers, It is ours, the parents, the people, the church, the community.  We make the opportunities, we write the books, we teach the lessons, we display the manners.  We don’t need more titles to give, help or teach, we need to make the drive a priority.  I am learning to be an intentional parent, about exposure, creating opportunities, teaching and correcting.  In essence I am learning the art of engagement.

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About Kate

I am a wife, mother, friend, artist, swimmer, traveler, cook, adventurer and follower of Christ. This is where I share the best moments in my day – the kind you know would be a crime to keep to yourself. I write like I talk, not too fancy but from the heart. View all posts by Kate

4 responses to “artprize civilization

  • Kari

    Well said sister. Intentional is as intensional does.

  • knotrune

    The Vikings had amazing art. Not so hot on the books or the manners… :)

    I think the government should have a duty to provide opportunities for those kids who would slip through the gaps though. The ones with parents who don’t care for art, or for their kids; the kids in care, do they get art? Or love? Yes it’s good when community steps in to help them, but again, some communities are more likely to do that than others, so the government ought to be helping at least in those areas. But there you go, I’m an idealist in a non-ideal world.

    Thanks for sharing the photos. My favourite is the room of giant knitting :) I want to do that!

    • Kate

      True on the manners!

      Thanks for sharing, I get what you are saying. I believe we should provide opportunities too, it just seems in this day and age, programs are being cut faster than being added. I live in one of those communities, our school qualifies for free breakfast and lunch… it breaks my heart when we have reading incentive programs, and many of the kids don’t have any books at home to read or parents who will take them to the library. The opportunities to reach out and love are endless, no amount of government funding will fill the gap.

  • Marge Jackson

    You seem to bring the extra-ordinary to the ordinary day! Proud to know you sweet pea!

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