Saturday, May 16, 2009

Arts, Creativity and Other Outrageous Ideas: Brain Food from the American Visionary Art Museum

On May 5 Teresa and I attended a panel discussion at the American Visionary Arts Museum entitled: Arts, Creativity and Other Outrageous Ideas. The museum passed out the following list of education goals and the founder and director if the AVAM, Rebecca Alban Hoffberger, spoke about her vision and the museum's definition of "art" which she likened to the experience of primitive cultures who do not have a word for "art." Instead they had words for describing something well-made or beautifully performed - she challenged the audience to think of anything we do as being an art and of teaching as an art form. Rebecca and several other speakers spoke about a hope that visitors to the event and to the museum would leave inspired to find their own voice and explore their creativity.

Education Goals from the American Visionary Art Museum

1. Expand the definition of a worthwhile life.

2. Engender respect for and delight in the gifts of others.

3. Increase awareness of the wide variety of choices available in life for all...particularly students.

4. Encourage each individual to build upon his or heer own special knowledge and inner strengths.

5. Promote the use of innate intelligence, intuition, self-exploration, and creative self-reliance.

6. Confirm the great hunger for finding out just what each of us can do best, in our own voice, at any age.

7. Empower the individual to choose to do that something really, really well.


  1. This reminds me of something that Peter Drucker said, Effective executives build on strengths – their own strengths, the strengths of their superiors, colleagues, and subordinates; and on the strengths in the situation, that on what they can do. They do not build on weaknesses. They do not start out with the things they cannot do.

    So much of my time in school was centered around things I was not good at. It was a waste of time. Success builds success. I have seen that when children succeed in the areas that are good at the other areas slowly but surely come around and improve as well.

  2. I'm with Visit Baltimore and we did a video with Rebecca Hoffberger from the AVAM. In the video shes tells us about some of the artists that have their work in the museum and she also shows us some of the art. Check it out at