Creativity Takes Courage

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Henri Matisse famously declared, “The artist begins with a vision — a creative operation requiring effort. Creativity takes courage.”  We hear every day from our teachers and parent volunteers that it is this very courage, born from giving students opportunities to stretch their creative wings and realize their vision, that reinvigorates their excitement to be in school, to learn, to explore. We believe that every child deserves this opportunity.

Matisse is on my mind because the Museum of Modern Art in New York just opened a major retrospective focused on his large-scale cutouts. In addition to over 100 works on display showing his mastery of form, shape, color and composition, the exhibition marks the first time in over 20 years that his massive The Swimming Pool (La Piscine) is on display. This was Matisse’s only site-specific cut-out, designed to surround a room in his home in Nice toward the end of his life.

Our 4th grade students learn about Matisse through his Interior with Aubergines, an exciting painting that plays with perspective, geometric and organic forms and repetition. After a robust discussion of the painting and Matisse’s career and impact, students cut stencils and add still-life elements to their own compositions, creating a colorful interior collage.

The fact that Art in Action lessons like this bring out creativity and courage in our students is why we work tirelessly to keep our program affordable for schools and classrooms regardless of their economic circumstances. The key ingredient to making that happen is YOU.   Nearly half the costs of operating Art in Action come from donations and charitable support. That’s why we’ll be participating in Giving Tuesday on December 2nd to kick off our Annual Fund appeal this year. You’ll hear more from us about that over the next few months, but keep in mind that your contribution of even $10 can help us bring an entire year of a visual arts education to a child that will help them develop their own creativity and courage. Attributes that will last them a lifetime. Consider a gift today.


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