The Miami Art Project
The Miami Art Project is a community outreach foundation dedicated to introducing, restoring and sustaining arts education in public schools and child healthcare systems and raising awareness about the importance of the arts as a part of every child’s complete education and overall development.
Arts in Education
Anyone who has ever seen a student become excited, energized, and confident through artistic exploration has seen first-hand how arts education engages children and contributes to their overall development. The primary processes learned through arts education promote habits that cultivate curiosity, imagination, creativity and evaluation skills. Students who possess these skills are better able to tolerate ambiguity, explore new realms of possibility, express their own thoughts and feelings and understand the perspectives of others.
“Teaching is a creative profession, not a delivery system. Great teachers do pass on information, but what great teachers also do is mentor, stimulate, provoke, engage…”
— Ken Robinson
However, due to budget constraints and emphasis on the subjects of high stakes testing, arts instruction in schools is on a downward trend. The classroom tasks and tools that could best reach and inspire students –– art, music, movement and performing –– are less available to them. This is especially true for students from lower-income schools, where analyses show that access to the arts in schools is disproportionately absent.
The Miami Art Project believes that the arts are essential to our public school curriculum, both in and of themselves and as a way to engage students more fully in their education.
Arts in Healthcare
A continually growing body of research shows the qualitative benefits of integrating the arts into a variety of healthcare and community settings for therapeutic, educational, and expressive purposes. The Society for the Arts in Healthcare reports that nearly half of all US hospitals are using the arts to lower stress and anxiety, create a healing environment and support the well-being of patients and families.
Arts and music programs normalize the hospital environment and facilitate relief for patients and families by providing entertaining, recreational and educational art experiences. Interactions with visiting artists can expand a child's sense of the possible and counter isolation, anxiety and frustration. Shared, interactive art experiences provide patients and families the chance to step outside their circumstances, inspire hope and promote recovery.
The programs also provide opportunities for artists, musicians, volunteers, and students from the community to share their gifts and talents in the hospital while nurturing a life-long appreciation for the arts with young participants.
Increasingly, researchers and industry leaders in health and education have recognized a need for strategies and interventions to address “the whole person.” They have urged a more integrated approach to program development that can reach children at various stages of their development and in multiple learning contexts.
The arts are ideally suited to promote this integrated approach. Arts participation and arts education have been associated with improved cognitive, social and behavioral outcomes and help young children cope with normative stressors and those that result from illness, injury, disability, and healthcare experiences.
The Miami Art Project employs energetic advocacy strategies working with local community, healthcare and school-district decision makers alongside progressive corporations and small businesses to provide the resources needed to develop, install and sustain creative arts programs where they are needed most.
-  Partnership for 21st Century Skills; “21st Century Skills Map: The Arts” Tucson, AZ, July 2010
-  President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities, “Reinvesting in Arts Education: Winning America’s Future Through Creative Schools”, Washington, DC, May 2011
-  Society for the Arts in Healthcare, 2011
-  National Endowment for the Arts, “The Arts and Human Development: Learning across the Lifespan”, Washington, DC, March 2011