In my post about Maxine Greene, I mentioned the Lincoln Center institute for the arts in education. During the summer of 2002 I participated in The National Educator Workshop: Introduction to Aesthetic Education. Everyday for the week of July 8 through 12, I trekked to New York City and spent my days at Lincoln Center. As a child growing up in the Long Island suburbs of the City, I had my fill of concerts, opera and ballet at Lincoln Center, but for that week in 2002 it was a treat to enter buildings that for years had seemed out of range to me as a theatre attendee. The location, and having access to these buildings that are home to artistic endeavors, made me feel artistically inclined; it was as though my surroundings could rub off on me and cause me to feel like an artist!
Wikipedia has some pictures of Lincoln Center’s buildings, and Carthalia contains a compilation of history about the buildings along with some postcard pictures of the complex. In fact, if you have an interest in old postcards or theatres and concert halls worldwide, you should check out Carthalia – Theatres on Postcards.
During the week long workshop I participated in activities designed to expose me to the sensations of aesthetic education. There were hands-on art workshops, hands-on music workshops, attendance at a concert, a visit to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and attendance at a dance performance. There was also a lecture by Maxine Greene, which was one of the many highlights of the week. I was immersed in the arts, and loved every minute of the process!
Throughout the week each of us (there were about 40, if memory serves correct) were encouraged to keep a journal. After the workshop concluded, we were asked to submit a Response Essay about the week long experience. In addition to various handouts provided during the workshop, we were also given a booklet entitled Entering the World of the Work of Art – A Brainstorming Guide. The booklet’s purpose was to guide us in bringing art into the world of education, particularly as a way of expanding imagination. From the booklet:
“At Lincoln Center we believe that works of art provide an inexhaustible resource for exploration, reflection, and understanding. Children and adults have the capacity to respond to a work of art in ways that can stimulate fresh insights, encourage deeper understandings, and challenge preconceived notions. Without the limitations imposed by “right” or “wrong” answers, the process of responding to a work of art develops each student’s ability to think in fundamental and powerful ways.”
“As a result, unexpected connections are made, alternative points of view considered, complexities explored, and doors to new and imagined worlds opened.”
To read more about this experiential program, first visit the Lincoln Center page and then scroll down to the lower right corner, under Arts and Education, and click the link for Lincoln Center Institute.