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  • rmacculloch

What are the Arts? Wellington's thousands of Education Ministry staffers gave your children a wrong definition.

In 2023 our Ministry of Education employed 4,311 people, up from 2,630 in 2017 when Ardern, Robertson and Hipkins first came to power. How have they defined "the arts" to our youth? The NZ Curriculum states on page 20:

"What are the arts about? The arts are powerful forms of expression that recognize, value, and contribute to the unique bicultural and multicultural character of Aotearoa New Zealand, enriching the lives of all New Zealanders".

Since when are the arts tied to a single nation? Since when is art only art to the extent it "values" one nation's unique character? Since when should artists have any interest at all in the nation in which they live? Doesn't much art transcend national boundaries & can be appreciated by humans the world over since it gives expression to fundamental human truths & the nature of reality? Do Wellington Ministry staffers live in a world so closed, so parochial that they've now mislead our children into thinking art is so limited, so chokingly small minded that unless it is connected to "valuing" NZ culture then it cannot be art? Is our Education Ministry's conception of "the arts" the bucket fountain on Cuba Mall?

Picasso observed, "Art is a lie that makes us realize truth". How does this relate to recognizing NZ's unique character? Oscar Wilde said, "Art is the most intense mode of individualism the world has known". Valuing the culture of their country maybe the last thing on an artist's mind. Da Vinci stated, "Art is the Queen of all sciences communicating knowledge to all generations of the world". Even centuries ago he had the insight to realize that the arts were not about recognizing just Italian culture. Abolish the Education Ministry for putting in writing an ignorant definition of the arts that is a turn off to school children and closes their minds to the arts' soaring influence on all of humanity.



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