Message from Dr. Reilly
Good morning Faculty and Staff,
On a Thursday night in early March, I had the pleasure of viewing the Young Artist Exhibition featuring visual art by middle school students, along with drama and dance performances. A week later, All City Dance took place at Arts High School. This coming Thursday, All City Music will happen and at the end of March, the Teen Arts Festival will occur.
After the first two shows, I had a conversation with Margaret El, the Director of the Visual and Performing Arts Office. In the first two performances, excellence was the norm, not the exception. I’m still marveling in my mind at the artwork created by two students from 14th Avenue School. The interplay of collage and water media stays with me. I thought surely the two dancers who opened the All City Dance performance had to be professionals. Their movements were so evocative, so fluid. I learned they were students from Malcolm X Shabazz High School. Both performances were thoughtful, beautiful, aesthetic, and a reminder of what it means to create great work.
Behind each of those performances were families and friends who supported the artists. And behind all, were excellent teachers who demonstrated what it means to uniformly hold high expectations for learners by teaching well. Maxine Greene in Releasing the Imagination wrote, “At the very least, participatory involvement with the many forms of art can enable us to see more in our experience, to hear more on normally unheard frequencies, to become conscious of what daily routines have obscured, what habit and convention have suppressed.” That’s what great teaching does too. It awakens us from the ordinary.
Witnessing our children creating inspires me to be a bit better at this work than I tried to be the day before. Thank you, teachers, principals, Ms. El, Katherine Brodhead, and Antonia Germanos for your commitment to the Arts and our artists.
Hope to see you all this Thursday at 5:00 p.m. at Arts High School for the All City Music performance.