TEDxSoleburySchool Speaker Lakumi Dias '18
TEDxSoleburySchool Talk: Why Art?
Lakumi’s presentation focuses on the importance and benefits of integrating visual arts into the academic curriculum. The current education system often defines success as something that can be quantified with a number or letter grade, but the visual arts teach skills that are more important in the long run. Academic programs and visual arts programs are often viewed as if they are separate and in competition with each other, with the former considered a necessity and the latter a luxury. In many academic classes, students are encouraged to think in terms of success and failure, and right and wrong, but students need to be prepared to do more than simply regurgitate information to get an A on assessments. Isn’t it equally important for young adults to be comfortable with exploring, experiencing, and failing along the way? Integrating art into the curriculum will help students — the future of our society — acquire the skills necessary to succeed in the future, and it is important that every student has a chance to reap the benefits of visual art, even if they don’t believe they have artistic talent.
Lakumi Dias is a senior at Solebury School and is a part of Teach2Serve, an experiential learning program for students interested in creating social change and innovation in their communities. In her first year of the program, Lakumi researched sustainable infrastructure and installed a vegetative green wall on campus with her cohort members. This year, after volunteering at arts camps through her local arts council, Lakumi completed her capstone project, which involved advocating for the importance of visual art in the education system by writing and presenting a policy brief and publishing articles in local papers, magazines and blogs.