Arts Education in Maryland
Annapolis High School, Maryland
November 10, 2009
It is great to join you here at Annapolis High School. Speaker Busch, thank you for your leadership and partnership. Thank you Delegate Maggie McIntosh for your commitment to arts education. I also want to thank Mary Any Mears and everyone with the Arts Education in Maryland Schools Alliance.
It’s an honor today to have the opportunity to introduce Daniel Pink who is awakening a new awareness of the connections between the “right side” of our brains – our own human capacity for creativity and imagination – and our moral and economic potential as a people.
He writes that “sometimes the most powerful ideas come from simply combing two existing ideas nobody else ever thought to unite.”
So much of the progress we’re trying to achieve together for our State is all about connections. When we choose to embrace the creative potential of arts education – to invest in places like the Carver Center, Principal Steele – and when we choose as well to put a renewed priority on the STEM subjects of science, technology, engineering, and math – it’s all connected.
When a student painter divides the space on a canvas, or a music student learns meter and rhythm, it’s connected to the work they do with complex equations in their math classes, or the computer skills training they might be receiving in technology classes.
It’s from this wholeness that we’re able to reach our true potential as a people; that we’re able to meet the great, interlocking 21st century challenges of leadership in skills, in sustainability, in security and in a renewal of the human spirit.
The Irish poet John O’Donohue writes that “every life needs the possibility of expression.” The possibility of expression and the possibilities which flow from creative expression, they are all about relationship and connection; the relationship between light and darkness, notes and silence, between right brain and left,…
… Between our actions in our own here and now, and the big goals we share: to strengthen and grow the ranks of an increasingly diverse, upwardly mobile middle class; to improve public safety and public education in every part of our State; and to expand opportunity: the opportunity to learn, to earn, to create, and to enjoy the health of the people we love and the environment we love.
Arts Education in Maryland
If you look around the country at what’s going on in other States, I wouldn’t want to trade places with any of them, and that’s because of our #1 asset -- the biggest competitive advantage we have: the talents, skills, ingenuity, and creativity of our people.
We have what Education Week magazine says are the #1 best public schools in America, and that didn’t happen by chance. It happened by choice. The choices we continue to make together as One Maryland for record investments in public education. The choices that students, teachers, and parents make every day.
These choices are what strengthens what one might call our “creative economy.” The creativity of scientists who work everyday to advance healing and discovery; and the creativity of artists who advance the possibilities of and from expression,… possibilities which saw 1.8% job growth between August and September in our Arts, Entertainment and Recreation sector.
In Maryland, we are proud to be the home of six schools which were named Kennedy Center National Schools of Distinction in Arts Education in the last three years – an honor bestowed on only 5 schools nationwide each year. Can the representatives stand as I name them?
- From 2008-2009: the George Washington Carver Center for Arts & Technology and the Patapsco High School & Center for the Arts.
- From 2007-2008: the Berlin Intermediate School, Dr. Charles R. Drew Elementary, and Winters Mill High School.
- And from 2006-2007: the Kensington Parkwood Elementary School.
Let me brag about Maryland a little more. In 2009, 45 Maryland high school students received awards from the National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts – out of 150 given across the country. Nearly one in three were Marylanders.
Our people here in Maryland are among the most creative, the most talented, the most highly skilled, and the most educated anywhere in America. They are the reason we’re better positioned than other state to transition from recovery to prosperity.
At this time it’s my honor to introduce Daniel Pink. He is an economist and former chief speechwriter to Vice President Al Gore, whose works include A Whole New Mind: Why Right-Brainers Will Rule the Future, and The Adventures of Johnny Bunko: The Last Career You’ll Ever Need – an American business book written in Japanese comic format. His next book, Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us will be published late next month.
Ladies and gentlemen: Daniel Pink.