Arts Education and the Creative Economy

(4-19-10) GIA Member Susan Coliton (Paul G. Allen Family Foundation) and Patricia A. Wasley (Dean of the College of Education at the University of Washington) in an Op-Ed in the Seattle Times...

"OUR state's economy thrives on innovation. That innovation exists in many sectors — from engineers and designers, to writers and architects — and all of them depend on creative-thinking skills in order to succeed.

Thinking creatively is good for the economy. Creative employees have the power to imagine new possibilities. They can envision new directions in biotechnology and energy. They can create efficiencies in agriculture and construction. Creative thinkers make us stronger and more agile as companies, as communities — and as a country.

Arts education in K — 12 schools plays a major role in cultivating creative thinkers. Its ultimate purpose is not to develop the next Picasso or Beethoven — it's to foster creative and critical thinking skills for all students, at all academic levels. It's about developing skills in communication and collaboration, and supporting different styles of learning — kinesthetic, visual, experiential — that enhance conceptual understanding across all subjects, including science and math."