The complications of an education in the arts
Photo Courtesy of USC Annenberg Media
Much has been written about students and learning during Covid-19. Often quoted is that kids are adaptable. But what about the student-artist? Historically, artists tell the stories of our times in their paintings, photos, films, words, movements, and sounds. The student-artist, like the student-athlete, is challenged. These students need particular attention right now. If they don’t have a teacher to encourage them, or a fellow artist to turn on their light, then what? Rehearsals, instructions, and orchestras require groups and collaboration. If you know a student-artist, if one lives in your house, then, help them soar. National YoungArts Foundation scholarships are open right now, so submit! Scholastic Arts & Writing Award opens in three weeks for submissions, so take advantage! How are other artists expressing themselves? What are other artists doing to get heard right now, with or without school? Lil Buck, @lilbuckdalegend, is interpreting and sharing his work, his experience of this time period. So, double down on your daily practice, even if you have to macro-size your palette.
To the artist who is considering college this year, research how colleges are adapting to meet needs. This is true for rising seniors, too. Contact deans and administrators, as well as instructors. Dimitri Chamblas, Dean of Dance at the California Institute for the Arts, told the Los Angeles Times, “The school is ready to re-question, reinvent … innovating in this particular moment of time.” Is your school looking ahead? It is exactly the curiosity of the artist, and the arts education, that can be useful to this time period. Last week the LA Times highlighted student-artists, specifically those heading off to college, and their challenges, even the relevancy of the programs, yes, even the prestigious programs, they are entering (Young artists prepare for college during COVID-19 upheaval). Those of us, like myself, who attended film school, know the true value of an arts-education is what you as the artist contribute, not just extract. So, build your 10,000 hours in order to have something to give at school. Continue your commitment and your goal, express, and experience, and adjust the scope.
The student-artists that surround us need to be supported -- in school and out. Ultimately, we must all ask ourselves, who will tell the story of 2020, if not these kids?
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Shauna Somers Greene is an academic strategist, college consultant, and college essay specialist, who is passionate about helping students achieve their academic goals. She helps students with time management and organizational skills, writing, and developing and managing their academic timeline, and helping them get into their first choice colleges by advising on how to build their college resumes.