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Creativity Counts

Support the Arts

By Max Wyman, Vancouver Sun
February 3, 2010

Re: Games’ cultural legacy will disappear if arts funding cuts continue, Jan. 29

Bravo to Miro Cernetig for bringing the economic case for arts and culture funding to the attention of The Sun’s readers.

The social benefits of involvement with arts and culture are well documented: They help build community spirit and inter-cultural understanding, improve individual health and even contribute to crime reduction. As Vancouver Symphony Orchestra music director Bramwell Tovey told Cernetig, “Arts funding is not a grant. It’s an investment.” We are also coming to realize what a significant contribution arts and culture make to education. A worldwide movement is under way, at UNESCO and elsewhere, to relocate the arts and creative activity at the heart of the educational curriculum. A curriculum that promotes the use of the imagination -right-brain thinking -alongside the left-brain “basics” not only helps develop the fully rounded individual but prepares learners for a future that will depend as much on ingenuity and the imagination as on physical resources. Studies such as those undertaken by Simon Fraser University’s Imaginative Education Research Group, a world leader in new thinking about ways to teach, show that when students’ imaginations are engaged, educational performance inevitably improves.

Max Wyman

Past president,

Canadian Commission for UNESCO,

Lions Bay

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