Monday, 7 October 2013

Status of Arts Education within UNESCO's Priorities - Online Petition initiated by Yvette Hardy, South Africa

Ensure Creativity remains a UNESCO priority!
It has been widely recognized that creativity is the vital ingredient that needs to be cultivated if we are all to survive and flourish in this 21st Century.

"Creativity now is as important in education as literacy, and we should treat it with the same status" says noted educationalist, Ken Robinson. One of the best ways to nurture creativity is through arts education, something which should be available to every child. Creativity is urgently needed to promote economic, social and cultural development and to generate solutions to the numerous challenges facing the world today.

UNESCO has been busy analyzing and ranking the areas of their work by priority, with those areas that receive the lowest ranking being marked for elimination. The Creativity programme, within which arts education falls, was ranked at the very bottom of UNESCO's 48 priority areas and is at risk of elimination. If this happens, UNESCO's invaluable work in this area, including the Road Map for Arts Education, the World Conferences for Arts Education, the International Arts Education week, and all the other projects related to both arts education and creativity in the broadest sense, will be terminated and will no longer receive support. An additional consequence will be to give our governments yet another excuse to de-prioritise Arts Education and to deny both promotion of and access to the arts for children and young people.

However, this situation is not hopeless, if action is taken. When the Member States meet at the November General Conference of UNESCO, they will be the ultimate decision makers. If we can convince our national delegations that creativity should be accorded a higher ranking, we can prevent it from being eliminated.

We urge you to sign this petition requesting, in the strongest terms, that UNESCO keeps Creativity and Arts Education as a fundamental priority within its work. We also ask you to contact the National Commissions of UNESCO within your own countries to express your urgent concern about the future of creativity as a priority within UNESCO programming, to seek their advice and to ask them to co-operate.

A list of National Commissions, including the names and contact information of current Presidents/Chairs and Secretary-Generals can be found at the following site:

Thank you for being a part of this critical movement

Sent by Avaaz on behalf of Yvette's petition
Dr. Ernst Wagner

Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen Nürnberg
UNESCO-Lehrstuhl Kulturelle Bildung
Koordination der Lehrstuhlaktivitäten
Friedrich-Alexander-University of Erlangen-Nuremberg
UNESCO Chair in Arts and Culture in Education
Executive Coordinator
Bismarckstr. 1 a, R. 2.024, D-91023 Erlangen

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