What role does arts education play in our mission of “Academic Excellence with a Christian Perspective?” Consider that the very first verse, in the very first chapter, of the very first book of the Bible tells us that God Himself is a creator! (Gen 1:1) Later in that same chapter, it is written that God, the creator, created us in His own image. (Gen 1:27) We were designed with not only the ability to create, but also with a longing to create...and it is good! Educating with a Christian perspective means exploring the creative process.
The arts have been a part of sacred and secular traditions in societies all across the globe for as far back as events are recorded. They are an emotional release, a form of worship, a universal language, and serve as a culture’s footprints throughout history. As a school that has committed to educating the whole child, mind, body, and spirit, First Baptist views the arts as an integral part of education.
Through exploration of the arts, students are exercising and developing their creative side. They are strengthening their ability to think outside the box, problem solve, manage risk, handle failure, empathize, and connect to others. Some will become professionals in the arts. We currently have alumni working in the fashion industry, directing productions, performing on stage, teaching in the arts, etc. However, the far greater majority of students will use their creative side to excel in a vast number of other careers as surgeons, lawyers, business executives, entrepreneurs, ministers, and more. Each graduate will have been made better in their chosen careers because of the skills developed through arts education.
2018 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine recipient, Dr. James Allison, was recognized for his work discovering and developing new cancer therapies to target previously untreatable cancers. For years, Dr. Allison faced a lack of support, obstacles in funding, and other perceived failures paving the road to his success. Why was he ultimately successful? According to the new documentary, “Breakthrough,” his creativity played a feature role in his accomplishment.
Exploring the creative process is an integral part of achieving academic excellence, and an equally crucial aspect of a faith-based education. So, you may not star in the play, have a solo in the dance concert, or win any visual art contests, but what if, by exploring the arts and developing your creative side, you one day find a cure for cancer, are able to counsel a traumatized child through art therapy, balance a budget with solutions nobody else had considered, or make a breakthrough in the treatment of Alzheimer’s or Parkinson's disease through movement/dance therapy?
Arts education goes far beyond the canvas or the stage, but it starts with your participation. You were created in the image of a creator!