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Arts Quotations

Even a brief search of the Internet reveals that there is no shortage of credible material supporting the value of the Arts in education...and in life itself.

We've gathered below just a few quotations that make this statement beautifully — affirming our values, teaching philosophy and program here at ArtsCalibre Academy.  We hope you are as moved and inspired by them as we are.


"When I examine myself and my method of thought, I come to the conclusion that the gift of fantasy has meant more to me than my talent for absorbing knowledge."
    - Albert Einstein


"In many cases, a child's first inspiration through the arts can be a life-changing experience.  One creative dance class can open a world of expression and communication.  Learning through the arts reinforces critical academic skills in reading, language arts and math, and provides students with the skills to creatively solve problems.  My husband and I believe strongly that arts education is essential for building innovative thinkers who will be our nation's leaders for tomorrow."
    - First Lady Michelle Obama


"There is a brilliant child locked inside every student."
    - Marva Collins


"Since the beginning of time, children have not liked to study.  They would much rather play, and if you have their interests at heart, you will let them learn while they play; they will find that what they have mastered is child's play."
    - Carl Orff


"It took me four years to paint like Raphael, but a lifetime to paint like a child."
    - Pablo Picasso


"It is art that makes life, makes interest, makes importance...and I know of no substitute whatever for the force and beauty of its process."
    - Henry James


"When my daughter was about seven years old, she asked me one day what I did at work.  I told her I worked at the college — that my job was to teach people how to draw.  She stared back at me, incredulous, and said, 'You mean they forget?'"
    - Howard Ikemoto


"Art is everywhere, except it has to pass through a creative mind."
    - Louise Nevelson


"The Arts provide a more comprehensive and insightful education because they invite students to explore the emotional, intuituve, and irrational aspects of life that science is hard pressed to explain."
    - Charles Fowler


"The most significant learning occurs when emotions are integrated with instruction because all body systems are united.  The Arts are strongly linked to emotions, enhancing the likelihood that students will remember something."
    - Eric Jensen, author of Teaching with the Brain in Mind


"Every child is an artist.  The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up."
    - Pablo Picasso


"No amount of skillful invention can replace the essential element of imagination."
    - Edward Hopper


"Tell me, I forget;
 Show me, I remember;
 Involve me, I understand."

    - Carl Orff


"The world is but a canvas to the imagination."
    - Henry David Thoreau


"They may forget what you said, but they will never forget how you made them feel."
    - Anonymous


"The Arts are an essential part of public education.  From dance and music to theatre and the visual arts, the Arts give children a unique means of expression, capturing their passions and emotions, and allowing them to explore new ideas, subject matter, and cultures.  They bring us joy in every aspect of our lives.

"Arts education not only enhances students' understanding of the world around them, but it also broadens their perspective on traditional academics.  The Arts give us the creativity to express ourselves, while challenging our intellect.  The Arts integrate life and learning for all students and are integral in the development of the whole person.

"The Arts communicate and speak to us in ways that teach literacy and enhance our lives.  We must continue to find a place for arts programs and partnerships not only for what it teaches students about art, but for what it teaches us all about the world we live in."
    - Dr. Terry Bergeson, Superintendent of Public Instruction,
      Washington State


"It's not what is poured into a student, but what is planted."
    - Linda Conway


"There are more valid facts and details in works of art than there are in history books."
    - Charlie Chaplin


"The Arts must be at the heart of every child's learning experience if...they are to have a chance to dream and to create, to have beliefs, to carry a sense of cultural identity."
    - James D. Wolfensohn, former chairman of
      The Kennedy Center


"Good teaching is one-fourth preparation and three-fourths theater."
    - Gail Godwin


"Art teaches nothing, except the significance of life."
    - Henry Miller


"Art is the child of imagination and gives life."
    - Mirka Mora, painter


"Imagination will often carry us to worlds that never were.  But without it, we go nowhere."
    - Dr. Carl Sagan


"Art is the signature of civilizations."
    - Beverly Sills


"I want to thank anyone who spends part of their day creating.  I don't care if it's a book, a film, a painting, a dance, a piece of theater, a piece of music — anybody who spends part of their day sharing their experience with us — I think this world would be unlivable without art, and I thank you."
    - Steven Soderbergh, director


"Art is literacy of the heart."
    - Elliot W. Eisner, Professor of Education and Art,
      Stanford University


"The purpose of education is not simply to inform but to enrich and enlighten, to provide insights into life as it has been led and as it may be led.  No element of the curriculum is better suited to that task than Arts education."
    - D.T. Kearns, Chairman and CEO, Xerox Corp.


"A child sings before it speaks, dances almost before it walks.  Music is in our hearts from the beginning."
    - Pamela Brown


"Kids: they dance before they learn there is anything that isn't music."
    - William Stafford


"I learned that I am capable of creating beautiful, exquisite pieces of art.  Everything is within reach if I try and believe in myself."
    - Julie Edmunds, student, RAW Art Works,
      Lynn, Massachusetts


"The best way to learn is through the powerful force of rhythm."
    - Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart


"Civilizations are most often remembered for their art and thought.  I have always believed in the definition of an educated man or woman as one who could, if necessary, refound his or her civilization.  That means we must teach our students more than hard facts and floppy disks.  We must teach them the rich artistic inheritance of our culture and an appreciation of how fine music enriches both the student who studies it, and the society that produces it.  The existence of strong music and Fine Arts curricula are important to keeping the humanities truly humanizing, and liberal arts education truly liberating."
    - Ronald Reagan, former US President


"If their feet aren't in the right place, at least their hearts are."
    - Christian M. Chensvold


"It is the mission of all art to express the highest and most beautiful ideals of man."
    - Isadora Duncan


"I believe Arts education in music, theater, dance and the visual arts is one of the most creative ways we have to find the gold that is buried just beneath the surface.  Children have an enthusiasm for life, a spark of creativity, and vivid imaginations that need training...training that prepares them to become confident young men and women."
    - Richard W. Riley, former US Secretary of Education


"Dance is the hidden language of the soul."
    - Martha Graham


"Arts education aids students in skills needed in the workplace: flexibility, the ability to solve problems and communicate, the ability to learn new skills, to be creative and innovative, and to strive for excellence."
    - Dr. Joseph M. Calahan, Vice President,
      Xerox Foundation


"I explained it when I danced it."
    - Dame Margot Fonteyn


"Learning to walk set you free.  Learning to dance gives you the greatest freedom of all: to express with your whole self the person you are."
    - Melissa Hayden


"There is nothing more notable in Socrates than that he found time, when he was an old man, to learn music and dancing, and thought it time well spent."
    - Michel de Montaigne


"Human beings are born with the instinct to express themselves through movement.  Even before he could communicate with words, primitive man was dancing to the beat of his own heart."
    - Bob Fosse


"Correction does much, but encouragement does more.  Encouragement after censure is as the sun after a shower."
    - Johann Wolfgang von Goethe


"I learned to act by watching Martha Graham dance, and I learned to dance by watching Charlie Chaplin act."
    - Louise Brooks


"Please send me your last pair of shoes, worn out with dancing as you mentioned in your letter, so that I might have something to press against my heart."
    - Johann Wolfgang von Goethe


"The Arts are fundamental resources through which the world is viewed, meaning is created, and the mind developed.  To neglect the contribution of the Arts in education, either through inadequate time, resources, or poorly trained teachers, is to deny children access to one of the most stunning aspects of their culture and one of the most potent means for developing their minds."
    - Elliot W. Eisner, Professor of Education and Art,
      Stanford University


"I'm amazed at what the power of music can do, and how deeply kids are affected by it."
    - Fred Penner (Raffi)


"An education enriched with participation in the lively Arts encourages students to reach for the best within themselves.  The self-esteem they develop from this experience builds the confidence to reach for the best in our society."
    - W. E. LaMothe, Kellogg's Company


"It is the supreme art of the teacher to awaken joy in creative expression and knowledge."
    - Albert Einstein


"To watch us dance is to hear our hearts speak."
    - Hopi Indian saying


"We have never discovered a culture on this planet, past or present, that doesn't have art.  Yet there have been a number of cultures — even today — that don't have reading and writing.  Why is that?  One possible explanation is that the activities represented by the Arts — dance, music, drama, and visual arts — are basic to the human experience and necessary for survival.  If they weren't, why would they have been part of every civilization from the Cro-Magnon cave dwellers to the urban citizens of the 21st Century?

"The Arts are part of human development.  As we learn more about the brain, we continue to find clues as to why the activities required for the Arts are so fundamental to the brain's activities.  Music: It seems that certain structures in the auditory cortex respond only to musical tones.  Dance: A portion of the cerebrum and most of the cerebellum are devoted to initiating and coordinating all kinds of movement, from intense running to the delicate sway of the arms.  Drama: Specialized areas of the cerebrum focus on spoken language acquisition and call on the limbic system to provide reality or create fantasy with the same ease.

"Much of what young children do as play — singing, drawing, dancing — are natural forms of art.  These activities engage all the senses and help wire the brain for successful learning."
    - David A. Sousa in How the Brain Learns


"A grounding in the Arts will help our children to see; to bring a uniquely human perspective to science and technology. In short, it will help them as they grow smarter to also grow wiser."
    - Robert E. Allen, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer,
      AT&T Corporation


"The things I learned from my experience in music in school are discipline, perseverance, dependability, composure, courage and pride in results...not a bad preparation for the workforce."
    - Gregory Anrig, President, Educational Testing Service


"The mediocre teacher tells.
 The good teacher explains.
 The superior teacher demonstrates.
 The great teacher inspires."
    - William Arthur Ward


"When we teach a child to sing or play the flute, we teach her how to listen.  When we teach her to draw, we teach her to see.  When we teach a child to dance, we teach him about his body and about space, and when he acts on a stage, he learns about character and motivation.  When we teach a child design, we reveal the geometry of the world.  When we teach children about the folk and traditional arts and the great masterpieces of the world, we teach them to celebrate their roots and find their own place in history."
    - Jane Alexander, Chairman, National Endowment for the Arts
      (1993-1997)