Divergent Thought — Appreciating the Arts — Episode 27

The Arts, particularly within the minority communities, are often underappreciated and undervalued. With such a deep focus on sports, science, technology, engineering, and math, the arts can be an afterthought. This is problematic.

Without the arts, how can we foster creativity, improvisational thinking and acting, innovation, and artistic sensibilities in our youth and adults? Without the arts, how do we learn to capture and accentuate our senses in ways that inspire and motivate us to engage in activities worthy of emulation? Without the arts and artistic expression, the status quo, formulaic participation, and rigidity of thought reign supreme. The arts give us wings. The arts allow us to believe the unbelievable and achieve the impossible.

During this episode of Divergent Thought, we talked with special guest Louis Delair Jr. about the appreciation and necessary patronage of the performing arts. Our discussion focused on introducing children to the performing arts at a young age, what the different venues in the DC area are doing to attract kids to the arts, minority engagement in the arts (performers, board membership, etc.), and how to take advantage of lower cost and/or free shows. Expanding one’s knowledge of the arts can appreciably enhance an individual’s ability to think and act more creatively when engaged in everyday life.

Here are five lessons learned from the show:

1. Expose kids to the arts at an early age

2. Do not let money stop you from attending a show. Many theaters within the DC metro area have pay what you can nights — Arena Stage, Metro Stage, Atlas Performing Arts Center, Signature Theater, etc.

3. Actively or passively participating in the arts can enhance your ability to think and act creatively in different situations

4. The craftsmanship associated with the various forms of artistic expression translates to various areas of one’s life

5. Artistic engagement and expression foster free thinking, improvisational thinking, increased self-perception, self-confidence, and self-worth

As we progress as individuals and as a society, it is imperative that we expose our children, others, and ourselves to the arts. Artistic expression, imaginative engagement, improvisational responsiveness, and a desire to create the non-existent are fundamental to sustainable progression. The arts should not be an afterthought. It is of vital importance that we learn and leverage the arts and artistic thinking to solve problems that plague our communities and world.

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Until next time — love everybody and treat everybody right!