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Re: political debate and art

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From: Donna Pauler (dpauler_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Sun Aug 01 2004 - 11:27:18 PDT


I reference to the email and all the others about politics and art.
(see copy of message below.)

I was thrilled to see that this IS coming up on this list. I have been
in and around art education for many years. (I'm close to retirement.)
I have spent most of my life not being involved or active. And I might
have felt uncomfortable discussing politics on this kind of list. But
now I can see the difference political decisions can make. And I
understand how important it is to have a discussion.

We NEED to understand how policies put forth by our President and
congress have a direct impact on our lives and in this case art
education specifically. There needs to be a dialogue about this
throughout the election cycle on this list. It is true about Paige's
remarks referring to "teachers as traitors". It is true that the
funding of "No Child Left Behind" has had a direct impact against the
arts in education.

Art images have been used to influence politics throughout history.
Hitler used 'art' to great advantage to influence. And our current
political campaigns are using visual imagery to the hilt. The Media,
and all visual images--cartoons, color of clothes we wear, icons in
advertisements, slogans and more all influence our perception and our
perceptions are our "truths". We need to understand how images
influence our thinking. How it creates a "perception of truth" that
isn't the truth!

Good art projects might include not only making art but dissecting some
of these visual images and discuss how they influence how you feel
about the topic.

I hope we can discuss this in our art classes. It is very scary to
think that in a democracy we are told we can't talk about "political"
issues in our classrooms. I may understand how we may not advocate for
a particular party to our students, but we should certainly be able to
have a debate about issues and ideas. If not, I'd be real scared.

Donna Pauler
PS: Becoming an activist by first helping "get out the vote" and
educating people about electronic voting systems.

Subject: the political debate and art
From: Nnaell@aol.com

<snip>
However, what I will say...is that as educators...it is important to
engage
in the political debate for many reasons.

#1....as someone mentioned many artists we celebrate were the political
activists of their time...artists who created artwork that celebrated
heros and/or
made social commentary on the horrors of war or the injustices of
society

#2. as evidenced by current legislation, as educators we must be
educated
about legislation that effects our curriculum, our budgets, our
certification
requirments. our classroom sizes, the number of classes we teach a day,
the
number of days we work a year, etc. all affected by who is in office,
who holds
the power, who writes the check

#3 As artistis....we must continue the debate about who has the right
to
choose what art we view, what is art and should/can content of art be
legislated.

<snip>
No matter your political bent....educate yourselves, vote and encourage
others to vote...especially you high school teachers who have an
opportunity to
educate the first wave.

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