Friday, April 15, 2011

Record Store Day

Let’s take a few moments to remember.
Remember going to your favorite record store to find out about new music. Remember talking to the obsessed know it all employees who’d hand you a record/compact disc/cassette tape/8 track and say “Listen to this- It will change your life.” Remember disappearing for hours, searching through stacks and rows of music trying to find something special. Something that none of your friends knew about yet. Remember as a young teenager blindly purchasing music from bands that you had never heard of based on the cover art (“any band with a cover like this has got to be worth listening to!”) or a cool name. This strategy did not always work out -Sounds of Blackness is NOT a heavy metal band (Gospel)- but it was all part of the process of discovering, uncovering, and finding the music that defined your life, your time, your rebellion, your ability to make something yours.

Those stores are still out there, fighting to survive in a world of digital downloads and instantly accessible information. Record Store Day was started to help support those stores (and independent musicians). Each year, super limited edition recordings are released, and bands perform. This Saturday is Record Store Day, and stores all over the country are celebrating with performances, limited edition records, and free stuff. Go to to find the store near you.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Support Arts Education

As the misguided Race To the Top education "reform" (lead by corporate interests and very few actual teachers) steamrolls on, Arts Education is increasingly marginalized. With the intense emphasis on high stakes testing, Elementary schools in particular have less time for authentic investigations and aesthetic experiences, and in-depth investigations.

Art teaches us to look closely and critically at the world around us. What do you hope our culture and media will look like in 20 years? One in which creativity, authenticity and meaning matter, or an empty landscape of mindless shock "reality" media filled with amoral, gadget obsessed Jersey Shore:2030 zombies?

Art education can't stop all of that, but it can, will and does have an impact. Art has impacted the lives of many of my students in positive ways. My wife has had the same kind of experiences in which young children living in terrible conditions are able to express themselves and heal some of their suffering through Art. Public education definitely needs to be reformed and updated, but an education without quality arts programs taught by qualified teachers is no education at all.

Please follow this link to Americans for the Arts, and tell Congress to vote to support Arts Education. It only takes a few minutes.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Wednesday, June 3, 2009