Just because we may already be the converted, doesn’t mean we don’t still need to hear the preaching from time to time. As supporters, consumers, practitioners and students of the arts, many of us can personally attest to the transformative power of enacting and witnessing creative expression in visual arts, literature and movement. But in what is the most startling revelation of the new documentary special Artbound: Arts Education, only about 36% of California’s schools offer arts education in their curriculum — an especially counterintuitive data point in a state so proud of its “creative economy.”
As much a call to action as a documentary, over the course of the hour, an array of educators, artists, policy makers and students share stories — and students perform original spoken word pieces — centered on how art and arts education has changed their own lives and the lives of their communities. The program also takes a deep dive into the historical disparities in arts and education policy, and the values — creative problem-solving, media literacy, self-expression, alternative learning methods, inclusivity, empowerment, visibility, perseverance, empathy, joy — which creative instruction instills for a lifetime.
Artbound: Arts Education premieres on KCET on Wednesday, April 28 at 9pm. and will subsequently air Friday, April 30 on PBS SoCal at 8pm. Following the broadcast, the episode will stream at KCET.org/artbound and on the free PBS video app.