Creativity, Courage, & Arts Education

In the introduction to A Whole New Mind, author Daniel Pink outlines the incredible paradigm shift occurring in society.

He writes, “the last few decades have belonged to a certain kind of person with a certain kind of mind – computer programmers who could crank code, lawyers who could craft contracts, MBAs who could crunch numbers.  But the keys to the kingdom are changing hands.  The future belongs to a very different kind of person with a very different kind of mind – creators and empathizers, pattern recognizers, and meaning makers.  These people – artists, inventors, designers, storytellers, caregivers, consolers, big picture thinkers – will now reap society’s richest rewards and share its greatest joys.”

Pink goes on to discuss the impact of digitization, innovation, and the effects of the handing over many professional specialities to robots and machines.  Software can get you a divorce, complete your taxes, and find you a babysitter, but robots aren’t good at everything, and Pink points out where robots fail: replicating the most genius displays of human creativity.

Reviewing children’s literature that supports the arts initiates an important conversation regarding the state of arts education in America, and the lack of support for the type of teaching that fosters dynamic, life-long creativity.  Despite the efforts of dedicated educators and librarians, American education policy continues to marginalize the arts by and large.

It is critical to share resources that ignite creativity in our youngest.  In the spirit of National Arts & Humanities Month, I’ve compiled a shortlist of picture books for children of all ages; books that deliver a clear and pertinent message: the arts are essential.