b. whitaker's

How Philly Moves: A Movement

In Uncategorized on March 24, 2011 at 12:19 am

Even though I’ve taken a little time away from my blog, I’ve decided to post to draw support for a project that I really believe in.  It’s pretty awesome and it needs your help to continue.  Check it out here.

Click.  Watch.  Give.  Seriously.

PIFA: A City Awaits

In Uncategorized on December 21, 2010 at 5:49 pm

This spring, for 24 days, Philadelphia will become a city of lights – better yet, THE city of lights.  Paris in the 1910’s and 1920’s!  Visual and performing arts, food and fashion, culture and intellect will be center stage for the Philadelphia International Festival of the Arts.

Check out all the happenings here.  I’m really excited to see how Philadelphia’s most avante garde artists will interpret the theme.  Bubble, bubble.

Writing Sample

In Uncategorized on August 10, 2010 at 2:16 pm

If you have visited my blog before, you know that one of my most revisited topics is the plight of the art professional (and because for the time being I still consider myself a member of this group) – more specifically, the young art professional. 

Recently, while applying for a position in the Art Education field, I was required to answer the question below.  I didn’t think my answer, or my writing for that matter was absolutely stellar, but it was a great departure point for more discussion.  And hey…isn’t that why I’m writing this blog in the first place?

So feel free…read along…comment if you wish.

Question: 

What is one of the greatest obstacles regarding Arts Education in Philadelphia and what is one example of how this obstacle can be addressed?

Answer:

With all of the challenges that face art education, I believe that one of the most threatening obstacles in Philadelphia is its inability, perhaps more than any other industry, to attract and retain young professionals capable of necessary innovation in the field.  Without exciting a new generation of art educators, enlisting inspired and critical minds able to translate conventional teaching methods into contemporary initiatives that captivate today’s digital world, becomes difficult.

Since obstacles and opportunities represent two ways of viewing the exact same moment, we must recognize the unique opportunity created by this challenge to generate new interest in our profession.  Art education must take its cues from other modern industries that thrive in the 21st century.  Due to the creativity of artists, other fields have reached larger audiences and discovered exciting new ways to engage their consumers, while in an odd juxtaposition, it appears that art education has struggled with how to apply the inventiveness of young forward-thinking art professionals to the ways that art is understood, taught, funded, and advocated in and outside of our schools.

I think one of the ways to address this obstacle is to reenergize interest in the field and perhaps one of the most relevant places to do this is in Philadelphia’s arts-focused colleges and universities.  There it becomes especially important to explore the future of art education and negotiate how this profession must begin shifting the focus from pedagogy to marketability of the industry, both increasing the draw of funders and magnetizing innovative talent.  In many ways, my proposed solution represents only a beginning, however, it seems a significant step toward producing new enthusiasm for art education as a viable and exciting profession, and inviting young creative professionals back to the discussion table.

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