by Jessica Fisch
Imagination and creativity, cultivated by the arts, is equivalent to exercise for the mind. No matter what age, and no matter what skill level, creating is good for the human mind, the body and soul. Sufficient data overwhelmingly supports that studying and participating in any type of arts education improves learning throughout all academic areas, and creates smarter and more engaged students. It also reduces dropout rates, raises attendance, improves student dignity and morale, and enhances student creativity. An art curriculum – in collaboration with an academic curriculum – creates the optimum setting for students to soar beyond their highest potential. Why, then, are the arts curriculums suffering and being removed from public school programs across the country? Arts education can be defined as the study of music, visual arts (drawing, painting, sculpting, etc.), theatre, creative writing and dance. Tapping into the power of creativity is not only important for our students, but it is important for us as members of a common society.
We, as a society, are known for our creativity and innovation. Where in history have these uniquely human qualities been outlined more clearly than in art? While some artistic talent may be innate, no artist ever perfected their craft without study and dedication. Art cannot be learned through occasional or random exposure any more than any other subject, like math or science. It is a beautiful and solely creative way for each of us to give back to human society. With the decline of these important programs in our public school systems, private institutions are filling the gap.
With curriculums such as those found at The Rainbow Art Studio in Honolulu, a true dedication and love of the Arts can be found once again. Owner, Ching Kim, has developed her love of art by traveling the world and working with children, some who were terminally ill. She realized they all needed the same thing: to realize their own creative potential. “I started working with children and immediately my passions took over,” she says of her start. “I saw the same need everywhere I visited – children staring at screens, technology taking over, and every child needing a break. I realized immediately that by providing an alternative – to help open their eyes and stop the cycle – I could easily get them out of their own mental box.” Rainbow Art Studio offers programs, workshops and classes allowing the students a chance to foster appreciation, passion, and creativity. “Most children – not all – come in disliking the classes. To them, it’s one more activity for them to do when all they want to do is play. But that quickly changes. Watching them transform from art doer to art lover is why I do this. I watch their grumpy faces melt into smiles, and they begin to not only appreciate art on a new level, but they crave it. They want to go to museums and not the mall? That’s why I do what I do.” Art fosters obvious life skills like creativity, confidence, visual learning, and focus. It also fosters less obvious, but essential, skills such as collaboration and working together, motor skills, decision-making, perseverance, self-awareness and accountability. Participation in art also clears the mind in a healthy manner, and serves as a powerful relaxer for the student who needs peace in a busy world. It is in settings such as these provided by The Rainbow Art Studio, where you’ll find your place. We can all find peace in creativity, which is still readily available and accessible despite being limited in our schools.
Despite what it may seem, the arts are not dying. In fact, they’re thriving and evolving as they always do, and have since the beginning of humanity. Art is the very best and most beautiful expression of the human mind: of our potential, of our dedication, of our love and of our passions. With programs such as those offered at The Rainbow Art Studio, “inspiring every student to reach their creative potential” is achievable both in and out of the classroom, and throughout life. Finding a place for your child, and for yourself, within the Arts community is the very best way to tap into and rejoice in exactly who you are. For your child to see and feel their own incredible potential, to truly take pride in the gifts they have to give this world is an invaluable lesson. Your child is your greatest creation, and giving them the opportunity to find their own creative soul is a remarkable opportunity. Find an art program near you, and watch your child recreate themself into an incredible work of art.
The Rainbow Art Studio is now holding classes on Saturdays at their Kahala Elementary location. They also offer after-school programs at various schools on the island, and hold Summer, Fall, and Winter Camps. With a variety of options for you and your little ones, there is a program for every lifestyle, every skill level and every desire to create. Rainbow Art Studio can be reached at 497-5718. Learn more by visiting RainbowArtStudioHawaii.com.