Arts Awareness Monthly E-Newsletter | March 2015
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Different art forms are often placed in a position to compete with one another. One art form is better than another? Surely that isn’t the case. But while everyone has passion for the art they create, or support, or understand, we’re often placed in a position in schools and communities to take a competitive stance because of limited funding or economic issues. It’s also true that people sometimes have a difficult time seeing or hearing in unfamiliar ways. But without losing artistic identity or the love of a certain method of expression, we can all benefit from exploring and learning from all of the artistic processes—whether through dance, classical music, jazz, popular music, sculpture, painting, multimedia art, or theater. While many seem to be attracted to competition as a way of being, it’s important more than ever that we look deeper and find the real value common to the artistic process of expression in all its forms.

Painting is poetry that is seen rather than felt,
and poetry is painting that is felt rather than seen.
~Leonardo da Vinci

The artistic process in and of itself is one of learning, growth, and discovery. When we’re open to growing, learning, and discovering in another art form, it deepens our understanding of shared experience and at the same time expands our awareness and appreciation for the kind of expression that feels most natural. It also opens us to a sense of feeling together through a conscious perspective beyond our own minds and hearts. This openness to broader understanding is also valuable in everyday life experiences. It doesn’t eliminate our own individual thinking, but expands our ability to imagine what others see beneath the surface of thought. It’s a kind of learning, sensitivity, and mutuality that’s needed to create more rewarding experiences in today’s world.
The great gift of human beings is that we have the power of empathy.
~ Meryl Streep
There are many creative benefits that come from this sort of exploration in daily life. It’s a form of empathy, but more importantly what you do as a result of this broader understanding can expand your own thinking in productive ways. 

The fun, dramatic performance examples that follow explore the question of the art of greatest value using contemporary romantic relationships to try to find the answer. In their own way, they both seem to reach the same conclusion—there is no answer. We can learn from all the processes and at the same time expand our own thinking in ways we never thought possible.
  • The 1942 Richard Strauss opera Capriccio is a lighthearted treatment of the relative importance of words and music. The story tells of a countess who is courted by two suitors, one who writes a sonnet and the other, a musician who sets the sonnet to music. The musician suitor declares his love for the countess and asks which she prefers, poetry or music? The final scene finds the countess alone and still undecided as she sings of the inseparability of words and music. Watch and listen to this 2008 Metropolitan Opera performance with Renee Fleming singing the final scene from the opera.
  • In the 2008 movie Words and Pictures, actors Clive Owen and Juliette Binoche play the roles of teachers in an upscale college preparatory school in Maine that hires accomplished professionals to teach their advanced courses. They are both impassioned by their art form and start a rivalry that ends up in a competition at their school in which students decide whether words or pictures are more important. This video clip shows the paintings that Juliette Binoche actually painted for the film. And this brief video clip shows the challenge between Words and Pictures declared by English professor Clive Owen.
Various artistic processes exist because we’re individuals and we all express ourselves differently. That’s life. It’s complicated. But it’s the complexity that actually makes what we do so meaningful. 
All great artists draw from the same resource: the human heart, 
which tells us that we are all more alike than we are unalike.

~ Maya Angelou

Interesting-check it out
  • This 2015 Huffington Post article, “We Are All the Same: Teaching Empathy Through the Arts,” by Lysa Heslov speaks about the value of arts programs to the future of our children, both here in the U.S. and around the world. She shares information about how the CMH Global Arts programs utilize arts education to enhance students' understanding of the world by pairing an art modality with an international country of focus. 
  • "Using the Arts to Build Empathy, the Ultimate 21st Century Skill,” an article from Education Closet that focuses on professional development for integrated and innovative teaching, shares how understanding others is critical for students to succeed as productive and thoughtful citizens. The article concludes stating, “By integrating the arts in our classrooms and allowing our students to be both creators and thoughtful perceivers of art, we help each student develop her/his capacity to empathize and one by one help make this world a better place.”
  • Authors Robert and Michele Root-Bernstein present firsthand accounts of the creative process of people from Albert Einstein and Merce Cunningham to Oliver Sacks and Charles Ives in their book Sparks of Genius: The Thirteen Thinking Tools of the World's Most Creative People. They present empathizing as one of thirteen important thinking tools to exercise your imagination and set off sparks of genius.
  • "Bunnies, Stinkbugs and Maggots: The Secrets of Empathy,” an article by Jeffrey Kluger, shows interesting scientific evidence that feeling what someone else feels isn't easy, but our brains are wired for it.
One ought, every day at least, to hear a little song, read a good poem, see a fine picture, and, if it were possible, to speak a few reasonable words.
~ Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Wilhelm Meister's Apprenticeship
Contact Dr. Patricia Hoy for media appearances, to book her to speak at your event, or to engage her workshop or consulting services—

Guest Speaking—Corporate, Education, or Arts Events—that provides motivation for launching the beginning a project, keynote theme inspiration, or setting the foundation for a goal to be achieved.
Customized Consulting;In-Service Workshops; On-Site Training Institutes; Seminars; Conference Sessions; Seminars; and Round Tables—all specially designed for Businesses, Companies, Educational Institutions, Organizations, or Arts Groups.

About the Arts Awareness Newsletter:

This newsletter is meant to spark ideas and develop a deeper understanding of artistic processes and their use in leadership, everyday life, and work. Content, which comes from personal experiences and a variety of sources, is based on the Arts Awareness concepts developed by Patricia Hoy. Questions? Comments? Contact Patricia at or 901-229-1955, N. 93rd Way, Scottsdale, AZ.

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