Creating Creativity

Ahead of the Arts Learning Festival in May 2017, Our Annual Student Art Exhibition Opens. By Michelle Green, Chief Executive, Independent Schools Victoria

There’s an assumption in the statement – that creativity is something you’re either born with, or you’re not

Independent Schools Victoria doesn’t share this assumption. Of course, some people seem to be naturally creative, inherently more artistic than others. But that doesn’t mean that creativity isn’t something that we can’t learn.

That’s one of the reasons why we and our Member Schools stress the importance of arts education. Our annual student art exhibition, now in its 11th year and featuring 179 artworks from 12 Member Schools, is just one reflection of our focus on this crucial area of learning.

We regard the arts as essential to the total education of students. The

arts are important not just because they are wonderful things in themselves. Nor are they optional extras – just as maths or reading aren’t optional.

Education in the arts promotes creativity, using skills that can be developed. A student learning to compose and perform a piece of music, or to conceive and create a work of visual art, is applying practical skills. They are using tools and technology to give concrete form to ideas that they first simply imagined. All of this leads to innovation.

A focus on the arts doesn’t just benefit our students, making them rounded individuals. It’s aligned with the needs of our community, our culture and our economy.

It’s also aligned with the Victorian Government’s Education State targets, which aim to ensure more students reach the highest levels of achievement in the arts and in critical and creative thinking.

The Education State targets also set a framework for improving student outcomes that makes Community Engagement for Learning a priority.

ISV is committed to community engagement. That’s why the

inaugural Arts Learning Festival to be staged by ISV next year is open to all students in all schools, as well as the wider community.

The festival, held from Wednesday 3 May and Sunday 7 May 2017, will feature acclaimed programs from around the world and across Australia.

By connecting with the wider community, the festival takes our commitment to arts education to a new and exciting level.

The Student Art Exhibition is held at Shell House, 1 Spring Street, Melbourne. Its open to the public during business hours, Monday to Friday, until Friday 26 August 2016.