April--Poetry Month 2013
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April--Poetry Month 2013

To the man who pleases him, God gives wisdom, knowledge
and happiness. Ecclesiastes 2:26
Life Question: How important is the art of expression?
Some years back I had the opportunity to attend the 8th Annual Artist-Teacher
Conference in Rochester, MN at the Rochester Arts Center. About 15 of us were
in attendance.
Among the issues discussed at the conference was the disappearing arts programs,
among them, creative writing. We discussed the various ways we could bring them
back, such as pairing artists and teachers together to create lesson plans that fit curriculum
appropriately, holding art workshop event and  bring in artist speakers to talk to the kids about the importance of art in our world. Not just in past years, but how it shapes our lives today.
The conference became spirited and lively as the ideas were thrown into the ring and
the passion for what we loved became more and more intense and the ideas continued
to flow. We talked about how schools had been phasing out art programs in schools
to save money. In this economy, it's still happening and we talked about how that affects
not only our children, but the world at large.
As far back as the caveman, art has played a role in communicating information about
how people lived, gathered food, played, related to each other, how and who they
worshipped and many other aspects of their cultures and traditions around the world
so that we, who would find them, would come to understand where we came from.
That's still true today. Art whether it's painting, photography, sculpture, writing or any
other genre, opens up different culture, religions, worlds, peoples and in particular our
feelings and emotions we communicate to each other. Sadly, in many respects, art is
shoved aside. Art, teaches us diversity, understanding, appreciation and I believe
promotes an attitude of cooperation and respect.
So as we are in the midst of celebrating Poetry Month, look for way that you can
bring a little art into your world or, into the world of someone you know and
encourage them to pass it on! If you can think of other unique opportunities
to share art with others, share it!
Liz Ciccone

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