The importance of the Arts

1h1a1923.jpgAs an Edmund Rice school, we understand the power of imagination to transform lives just as our founder did 200 years ago. Our boys’ creativity is nurtured in so many ways in the College, and our thriving Arts community is a wonderful illustration of this.

Our Arts Learning Area creates adventure. It takes our boys to far-flung places of the imagination, and provides them with a unique lens through which they are able to explore and engage with the world. Whether through Music, Drama, Media or Visual Art, it is powerful means of nurturing innovation, originality, creativity and self-expression under the stewardship of passionate, dedicated and talented staff.

CBC Fremantle’s Arts refurbishment was completed earlier this year, with the Music department moving to Dalkeith House, which is located at the corner of High and Parry Streets. The soaring ceilings and elegant architectural details feel like the set of a movie, with the soundtrack of our students busy practising and rehearsing. Next door in the Arts House, Media students have an incredible space to produce their projects, with an excellent editing suite and green screen for our budding film makers. And the Visual Arts room has been completely revamped too, with lots of light, new furniture and comfortable work areas for our boys. These new spaces beckon an inspiring new era of the Arts at CBC.

Recently, our Visual Arts, Media and Music students have enjoyed immersive opportunities to explore their creativity and build relationships with their peers and teachers at their respective camps. I was privileged to attend the Music camp finale concert. What was showcased was not just incredible talent and commitment, but also a strong sense of camaraderie and belonging amongst the students. These artistic adventures are so valuable for our boys to be able to experience the freedom from timetable constraints and really sink into their creative space. Mr Burgio is fond of saying that students learn teachers, and the relaxed atmosphere of camps also strengthens relationships that are so important in supporting our boys as they challenge themselves on their learning journey.

"If there is one gift we can take from the Arts, it is joy."

At the heart of any successful Arts program is also families who work behind the scenes to provide encouragement and support, especially at times when their boys’ motivation may be waning. I remember my own parents enthusiastically listening to my trombone practice for signs of improvement, and even more enthusiastically sending me off to music camp. Anyone would think they were native Italian speakers the way they took to phrases like diminuendo and pianissimo. They diligently ensured I got to and from band rehearsal and music lessons, and religiously attended my concerts. This support sustained me much more than I ever expressed to my parents, and the same encouragement that our CBC families provide to their boys in fostering a love of the Arts and appreciating their achievements is palpable. This extends beyond the school gates – just last week I received an email from a member of the public who remarked:

This morning I was at the Windsor Theatre in Nedlands for a live performance of A Fortunate Life. There was a group of CBC students there who were a credit to themselves, their families and the College. They waited quietly until it was time to enter the theatre and they were totally rapt in the performance, being a receptive and appreciative audience. Please pass on my congratulations to all the boys and their teachers.

Such feedback is heart-warming because it acknowledges what we already know about our boys.

If there is one gift we can take from the Arts, it is joy. The joy of creativity; the joy of music; the joy of watching a performance, and the joy of feeling connected in a common experience. It lifts our spirits, transcends differences and helps us to learn and grow – students, teachers, parents, even Principals! This is what our boys give to us when they perform and create, this is what the Arts gives our communities, and this is why art is so important. Let’s keep the Arts-heart of our school beating strong.

Enjoy your weekend.

Ms Jenny Knox