Art advocacy is important to me because of the variety of skills art allows children to practice and the increased amounts of cuts happening around Wisconsin to art programs in schools. The art classroom is the place where a child gets to practice thinking in a different way. The ability to develop creative solutions is so important for children. They need this skill to be successful in life. I am an advocate for art education because I want the youth of Wisconsin to have the opportunity to think outside the box and question the status quo!
In order to be an advocate for art education programs, I try to create connections with other art educators and artists locally and at the state level. I think it is important to create connections myself in order to create new opportunities for learning and awareness about art education.
Aside from my work as a Student Representative for WAEA, I am the Co-President of the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee NAEA Student Chapter. We are currently organizing an event for new art teachers in Milwaukee Public Schools. Creating events to bring teachers together is a great way to make connections, share ideas, and get out new teacher jitters!
One success I experienced in my advocacy for art education was giving a presentation on using iPads in the art classroom at a WAEA Conference. While working toward my BFA in Painting at the Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design, I spent a lot of time creating observational “paintings” on my iPad. I used this experience to share possible apps, lessons, and artists teachers could use in the art room with iPads and other tablets. I was so nervous to talk to experienced teachers, since I am so new to teaching, but most of the teachers had tablets in their own classrooms and were excited to hear about new ways to use them! I think this experience really proves that simply sharing our ideas and experiences is one of the best ways to be an advocate for our programs.