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Why Teach the Arts?

posted on November 29, 2011

Why Teach the Arts?

The arts are cross-curricular. An English teacher can show a performance of Patrick Stewart playing Macbeth. A history teacher can tie a rock and roll clip to women’s rights. Likewise, a math teacher can show the deep level of mathematical computer programming skills, in addition to creativity and artistic skills, that are required by independent developers to create video games.

Kids sometimes will have an interest in a particular art form without ever realizing it. As a teacher, you can apply the arts to any number of student interests while addressing multiple learning styles. Video game design, film making, writing music, acting, exploring the creative process: these and so many other subjects are a part of American culture, and students need to realize that the arts are not only for them but are about them. This is why PBS developed PBS Arts Online. A website designed to spark a resurgence in the arts by exploring cross curricular subjects in detail. These powerful videos and documents will help you effectively teach to your students, sparking their curiosity that will help promote awareness, spur greater interest, and increase understanding of visual, cultural and performing arts.

"Every community across this country possesses its own mosaic of artistic expression, and only PBS stations bring the rich diversity of these stories to the national stage," said Paula Kerger, PBS President and CEO. "PBS invites everyone regardless of geographic or economic situation to take a front-row seat and enjoy a backstage pass to the world of music, theater, dance, art, and cultural history."

PBS Arts Online brings audiences directly into the creative process, fosters individual artistic expression, and promotes experimentation and exploration. By presenting a broad and diverse range of artistic genres that include dance, film, music, theater, visual art, and writing, PBS Arts reaches new audiences by making the arts accessible to everyone, regardless of their geographic location.

Here are a few highlights of what is available through PBS Arts Online.

Two Shakespeare Tragedies: Macbeth and Hamlet
William Shakespeare introduced the world to the costs of hesitation, hasty judgment and ambition - fatal flaws that destroyed heroes and those they loved. In Shakespeare's most well-known tragedies - Hamlet and Macbeth - even the good characters receive no relief from the complex cruelty of life. Why do these plays remain important? The heroes are all too real, their flaws valid. His tales are entertaining, humorous even when they are tragic, and personal even when inconceivable. Watch Great Performances' full productions of Hamlet and Macbeth. Then go behind-the-scenes: interviews with master actor Patrick Stewart, a peek at the making of a stage-to-television production and a Supreme Court Justice's trial of Hamlet.

Women Who Rock
What does it mean to rock? It may seem obvious that everyone knows what rock and roll is. However, when rock stars, pop music critics, and curators of rock exhibitions are asked to define rock and roll, they respond in a rather complex way. No one has a clear cut, simple definition and some find it a downright struggle to answer the question.

Off BookOFF BOOK explores innovative arts and the artists that make it. Breaking the mold of the definition of art, OFF BOOK explores the avant-garde, the experimental and the underground art forms that are supported by online communities. The bi-weekly, web exclusive series includes episodes on typography, steampunk, internet culture, video game art, and more.

Creating Sets and Costumes
Watch how a theatrical production is enhanced by an extensive visual design that includes a minimal yet versatile set, video projections, and creative costuming that shifts the dancers into new characters. Through outtakes, photos, and an interview with creative director Bjorn G. Amelan, this exhibit shows the artistic process of building sets and designing costumes.

Margaret MitchellMargaret Mitchell: American Rebel
When Margaret Mitchell published Gone With the Wind in 1936, she jokingly said if all her friends and family bought it, it might sell a few hundred copies. After the novel made publishing history by selling a million copies in six months during the Great Depression, Mitchell was stunned. Seventy-five years later, the world still “gives a damn” about Gone With the Wind. The novel, now published in 40 languages, sells 250,000 copies each year; the movie is the highest grossing film ever; and Scarlett O'Hara and Rhett Butler are household names.

Watch and listen to a variety of music genres from delta blues to opera, classical to popular music.

Tags: art art education arts education educators Language and Literacy literature music pbs arts Shakespeare teachers theater video video games

Subjects: The ArtsLiteracy & Languages


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