I loved the arts. Music, paintings, spoken words, theater, dance, photography, I learned to appreciate them all. I had the support of my grandfather, my third grade teacher and my high school art teacher. I never envision myself graduating with a degree in Art History, that kind of degree was not very popular within the community I was in. The lack of funding has decreased the support and exposure high school students like myself have in their education. Many of my peers were very artistic and creative. The tattoos they designed, the photographs they took and the amazing dance skills prevalent in my high school were not appreciated as much as the other subjects. Today, I find myself thinking, what if my peers had the right classes to further develop their talents and skills, where would they be now? Why was tattooing viewed negatively when in reality it was talent these students demonstrated? Why am I not fighting to change the discourse?
These were only the beginning thoughts of how I could affectively create change in K-12 students. As an AD&A intern in the outreach position, my goal is not to teach them everything there is to know about art history, but to encourage students to think of art at the same level of prestigiousness the sciences have. Many students will enter high schools in which the arts may not be considered a priority to the education of people, however, there are many students who excel in this field and many more who will never be given the chance to be expose to it.
With the continued efforts of interns, we are exposing young minds to either learn about a new subject or assisting them through their art endeavors.
Now is the time to make an effort to change the discourse. UCSB is a learning institution and the AD&A Museum serves to provide quality services to our students as well as providing a space for students to showcase their art. These opportunities enable many students to continue appreciating the arts in hopes they will see themselves being a successful artist.
-Diana Figueroa, AD&A Intern