To change the educational, emotional and financial futures of the individuals, schools and advocacy centers we serve through the creative arts programs we provide.
OUR VISION: To use the creative arts to empower, innovate and educate.
Through inventive practice, TAO builds connection between the arts and everyday life, giving youth a more dynamic education through our teaching system while inspiring educators to think more creatively and encourage self-discovery through the use of our practitioners.
Creative Exercise just as important as Physical Exercise
No Creativity, No Innovation –
For Our TAO STREAMliners Programs:
TAO is teaching the WHY’s, not the HOW’s –Students have multitudes of information in our current world, but always need to be reminded as to why they do things. Just as a football player or gymnast would apply their sport toward physical exercise, we are impressing on students the use of creative exercise through the power of art form and how important is is to apply this exercise toward their lives and their future careers. If they understand how important it is to use their minds creatively, they will add passion to whatever career choice they make and apply creative strategies toward their efforts for a lifetime. Remember being 5 years old, imagining whatever you wanted without inhibitions. Then, from Grades 1 -9 a lot of time is spent on structure, which is very important, but students get away from thinking creatively. They have to make a strong conscious effort to use their mind in a creative way. Going into college it becomes a little more struggle to think on imaginative platforms unless it is done consciously and emphatically. Curricula stresses the use of subjects such as science and mathematics, but it is art that helps fuel passion while making a well-rounded individual and helping them to creative innovative ideas. STEM learning (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) turning into STREAM by adding Reading and the ARTS provides a more experiential and creative way to learn. Rhode Island School of Design, Perot Museum of Nature and Science, and The Museum of Mathemathics are showing innovative ways to approach the learning of our 21st Century generation. CBS Sunday Morning is now adding segments on their show demonstrating the use of creative arts as a way to demonstrate an impacting learning experience.
Albert Einstein –Einstein understood the importance of abstract thinking. He used his piano playing to help spacial concepts come to his mind which helped design his innovative advancements. His insight seem to come from intuition and inspiration, not from logic or math. He understood art to have great importance on his scientific achievement and that art should work in concert with mathematics.
“If it is communicated through forms whose constructions are not accessible to the conscious mind but are recognized intuitively, then it is art.” (271)
Sir Ken Robinson –
“My contention now is that creativity is as important as literacy in education and we should treat it with the same status.” Ted Talks Lecture on Creativity and Innovation TED conference, 2006
Yo-Yo Ma –
Because the world economy is so hyper-competitive, much of the focus in education these days from Singapore to Shanghai to American schools is on STEM — science, technology, engineering and math. As important as that is, it is short-sighted. We need to add the empathetic reasoning of the arts to the mix — STEAM.
The values behind arts integration — collaboration, flexible thinking and disciplined imagination — lead to the capacity to innovate. A pianist skilled to both read and improvise music is open to listening to what is around him but knows that, to reach excellence, he needs to filter the imagination through the discipline of knowledge. When he performs, you will know instantly if he has achieved that right balance and it works or not.
For me the most proficient way to teach the values of collaboration, flexibility, imagination and innovation — all skill sets needed in today’s world — is through the performing arts. If you have these tools, you can do well in any field from software engineering to the biosciences.
Empathy is the other key tool. Empathy and imagination, the artificial layering of different realities, are linked. Empathy is your capacity to imagine what someone else is going through; what they are thinking, feeling and perceiving. That will not only give you an outlook on who they are — continually corrected by evidence — but also what your alternative possibilities are.
Empathetic thinking is something that is severely missing in education today that is only STEM oriented. Everyone wants innovation, recovering that inspired and innovative spirit of JFK talking about going to the moon. But you can’t skim the top without the rest of it.
The arts teach us that there is something that connects us all and is bigger than each of us. In both places it is a matter of equilibrium, of centering the ego at the right point of balance between the individual and the community.
We are all addressing the same issues with different names attached to them.
STEAM will help us get there by resolving the education problem. Kids will then go to school because it is a passion and a privilege, not a requirement.
For Our Inspired Living Programs:
Carson and Becker –
“Creativity is paramount to the therapeutic process. There are several advantages for providing clients with various opportunities for experiencing creative techniques in counseling. Mainly, people remember best not the things they have talked about or been told, but rather things they have seen and experienced.” (2004)
Kurt Vonnegut –
“Go into the arts. I’m not kidding. (The arts) are a very human way of making life more bearable. Practicing an art, no matter how well or badly, is a way to make your soul grow. Sing in the shower. Dance to the radio…Do it as well as you possibly can. You will get an enormous reward. You will have created something.”
Daniel Pink –
New York Times Best-Selling Author, Daniel Pink, explains in his article on creativity and problem solving that, when an individual uses abstract thinking toward creative solutions rather than concrete thinking, it has a stronger and quicker affect:“Polman and Emich build upon existing psychological research showing that when we think of situations or individuals that are distant – in space, time, or social connection – we think of them in the abstract. But when those things are close – near us physically, about to happen, or standing beside us – we think about them concretely.” Over the years,“social scientists have found that abstract thinking leads to greater creativity. That means that if we care about innovation we need to be more abstract and therefore more distant. But in our businesses and our lives, we often do the opposite. We intensify our focus rather than widen our view. We draw closer rather than step back.”
Employees are faster and more creative when solving other people’s problems, from Telegraph, May 22, 2011
The Artist Outreach & The Future of Business –What is it that makes a company grow? It’s relationships and innovation. After the education of starting a business, after creating the initial products, after learning the rules and regulations to a particular business, even when products and services are stellar, what is it that makes a company sustainable? Relationships and Innovation. It’s a about the Relationships that you build & the Innovative ideas that you create (new products, new types of services, new strategic marketing plans). If students are not exposed to practical ways of using creative exercise, it will become much harder to compete on a global scale.
Teaching New Ways of Looking at Things –
Why not taste color (as in vibrant-colored fruit like plums and white peaches)? Why not see music in shapes and colors?
These types of ideas are part of abstract thought. Abstract (and spacial/distant) thinking allows an individual to see more creatively, therefore, the person tries unique ideas more confidently, especially if the person’s structural foundation and vocabulary (within the particular subject) is in place. While the current education of a participating school is established, the job of The Artist Outreach is to provide insight, excitement toward self-discovery and a personal confidence to the student through the power of artform. We help them understand the importance of thinking in a more abstract way, approaching their subjects with a broader view allowing creative ideas to develop.
Teaching students to create from website pages like this one:
Sketching Exercise (scroll over this page link and create shapes and colors like an Etch-a-Sketch)