What’s an “Elevator Speech”?  It’s a short monologue that expresses something about which you are passionate.  Imagine yourself in an elevator with someone who is talking with someone else or to you and then they strike that chord.

“But the arts aren’t REALLY that important in education, right?”

“How can you really learn anything from the arts?”

“Can you as a teacher really consider yourself an artist?”

“What can the arts really do for our children?”

It’s that moment when you can say what you need to say and your audience is captive.

A couple of years back I was asked to prepare an elevator speech for a class.  I would like to share it with you along with the assignment:

Come to class on Tuesday with a story that was an aha moment for you that involved the use of the arts in the classroom, or other arena. This story should be brief–what might constitute an elevator ride (about 30 seconds but there will not be a stopwatch present)–with the goal to appeal emotionally to a decision maker.

My elevator speech describes my aha moment when I was taking a visual arts class (and let me tell you, I am not a visual artist 😉 )  But it was during that class that I started to understand the creative process and my ability to make art.

Elevator Speech:

“Don’t hold back,” I was told, and I didn’t and it happened, I became an artist.  Maybe not one you would pay to see, but one I’d like to be – forever.  A passionate, impulsive, expressive artist.  I can paint, sculpt, draw, write, create music and dance.

I am so damn alive.

You see, an art teacher told me that I have a creative spirit even though I am a self-proclaimed “non-artist.”  I remember hesitantly putting paint to paper, but through the process of experimentation and making what I considered to be mistakes, I learned that a marvelous painting did not have to look like anything in particular, and it didn’t have to look good to anyone else, as long as I enjoyed the work.  Most of all, I learned to appreciate the process of art making.

This is exclusively my own.  I have something to say, to express, to give to the world.

And now, a whole new world has opened up.

I am free to be open and creative and to inspire.

Are you?

Do you have an elevator speech?  Please share!

~EMP

Learning With, Through and About Art
The Whole Child Philosophy

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