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Hi. I’m glad to be joining you for this week’s Soup to Nuts forum. The topic I’m proposing comes from a motto my husband Hank and I use in our daily work: the arts are not an elective; they’re not a frill. They’re a treasure.
Hank and I are both kids of the 1950s, back when Arts’ Education was still well integrated into public education. We had the iconic music lady coming into the classroom three days a week (“Open your songbooks, children”), plus our own teachers generally played the piano pretty well. We had regular classes in folk dancing, arts, and crafts. And there was a theater production each semester, as I recall, staged in the Elementary-School auditorium. Low budget, but pretty good quality, and one way or another, everyone participated.
In our era, kids were expected to play an instrument or be in choir. Between, say, 3:30 and 4:30 p.m., streets