Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Slice of Life 21 - The Arts

Slice of Life is sponsored every Tuesday by Stacey and Ruth from Two Writing Teachers. For the month of March we are challenging ourself to write a Slice A Day. Here we go! 

Yesterday was one of those days that gave me a moment of clarity. See, I spent the entire morning at The City Museum in downtown St. Louis. If you are anywhere in the area, I highly recommend a visit. We started bringing my boys there when they were 3 and 6. It is so much easier now that I don’t stress out when I realize that they’ve just dropped down three floors in a slide. (and that is the 10 story slide mentioned yesterday at the left)

Luke on the left, Liam in the middle. Praying begins.
When you are walking around the museum, you can’t help but be in awe of the artistic talent that has gone into making this building. In an abandoned warehouse an artist, Bob Cassilly, and some of his team have turned what was considered trash into amazing climbing structures and works of art. There is a bus hanging off of the roof (you can climb in it), abandoned planes that you climb through tubes to reach. A ten-story slide, caverns, and more. The place is really incredible. My fear of heights sometimes makes it rough but I usually power through. That being said, when you see your “babies” scaling through tubes 50 feet high, your heart does beat a bit faster.

I went from observing an artist's work to my niece’s second grade music concert. The title was Wonders of the Earth with songs like The Continental Blues and Take me to the Islands. Listening to the kids sing about the different hemispheres, the continents, topography, cartographers, I was impressed. Even more so that my niece knew what all of that meant. At the end the principal came out and thanked the crowd for coming and supporting the arts. I looked around at the crowd of 300-400 for these 100 kids and my heart was full. The back of the program had something similar to this written on it in regard to why music is important: WHY TEACH MUSIC?
Look at those faces. So awesome. 
And I guess that is what I wanted to leave you with today. I think in this era of testing and accountability all to often the arts are pushed to the back burner. They aren’t tested so less and less time is devoted to them. But the arts give us beauty. They make our mind work in new ways. They make us see the world differently. They help us to express ourselves. They make children feel good about themselves. What a beautiful reminder this day was.


  1. This place looks amazing. My daughter is a program director at an art museum here in Denver. I'll send her your post; she'll love it too. I agree with you, the arts are critical & play a huge role in writing improvement, in my opinion. They raise esteem and the ability to see with 'new' eyes. How great is that that you get to take your boys there so often. (I know because of your family.) Thanks for telling about it. And I still am so intrigued by that ten story slide-WOW!

  2. What a rich post! I'm with Linda and I can't imagine what the quality of school life is now like for kids who now live without the arts in their schools. The Arts are getting axed frequently.

  3. What an amazing place The City Museum is. How fortunate for all near St. Louis and those visiting! It seems to be a place just begging for people to interact with it. So cool! I can understand why your boys enjoyed it so much!

  4. I think this is what I need to do - get out of the office and into a museum, or at least spend part of the morning at the paint easel with our preschoolers.

  5. What a fun filled day! Oh, we are definitely going to have to check out that museum! Like, crazy, right?!? I agree with you, the arts are so important and I'm glad the turnout was huge! Thanks for the link of why to teach music -- I'll be passing that along as well. Loved your last paragraph expressing what the arts give us -- thank you for your words.

  6. Wow, that museum looks like every kid's dream! What fun! Thank you for the ending to your post as well; I would not be the person I am without band. Sadly, I think kids need the arts more than ever (just as they are being cut more than ever!) as the rest of school becomes more and more serious, narrow, and stressful.

  7. Nice!
    We are lucky that our arts department is really strong. Well balanced kids, is that really too much to ask for?

  8. I find it so sad that arts are often the first to go when finances are lean, whether it be at the school, city, or state level. Your post really reminded me of how important the arts are--they are an integral part of our curriculum just as much as reading and math. I hope that one day our society recognizes the necessity of the arts to perpetuating our culture.

    Thank you for the comment on my blog--it led me here, and I am excited to have a new blog to read and check out!

  9. Christy Rush-LevineMarch 21, 2012 at 9:50 PM

    I spent an hour after early release day today listening to our district's plan to massacre the limited arts classes our students are currently offered. I love this slice. Especially today.

    And that building looks amazing! I need to borrow someone's kids so I have an excuse to go.

  10. Interesting timing for this slice because Shane and I just had a conversation about "Art". He was working on his employer's website and did a picture banner for an upcoming event. After receiving positive feedback from his one of his co-workers, he obviously felt good about the job he did and showed me that night. My response: Doesn't suprise me because you are an artist and that crosses over. Art is not just drawings, paintings, and sculpting. Music is art as well and as you know my house is full of that. When someone has a natural ability in the creativity it can transcend into the all of the arts. It is amazing to me how much of our everday life crosses over into the arts without the conscious knowledge of doing so. Considering I love Arts I particularly enjoyed this Slice. It is a shame that the arts become the bottom of the food chain because it is very important to me and my family. Very cool place in St. Louis and when Keagan gets a little older will have to make a visit! Happy blogging to you!


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