The arts serve as a core of our programs at the Atala Montessori School for Creative Expression. According to the recent Harvard Task Force on the Arts (2008), “Throughout history, the arts have had an immeasurable impact on social, political, and cultural spheres and have been deeply intertwined with scientific development.” The arts are integral to every discipline in modern society. Future engineering students often perform in the orchestra; aspiring medical students interested in anatomy take visual art courses; and strong ties between English, Creative Writing, and Theatre have existed for many decades. These interdisciplinary arts partnerships build strong academic bridges across the curriculum and into the community and are necessary in a comprehensive arts school.
The arts bring the community to our school and allow for multigenerational exchange, interdisciplinary collaboration, and a wealth of fruitful relationships. Like the atala butterfly, we cannot remain in our cocoon; we must reach out to our neighbors and friends to support our educational efforts. We reach out—from retirees to local cultural arts organizations—and we seek partners throughout South Florida to enrich the lives of our students through participatory presentations, guest speakers, and funding. Through the support of the community, faculty, staff, students, and administrators, the arts in the 21st-century can fulfill not only fundamental educational needs, but they also enhance the quality of life and provide intellectual outlets for our local Homestead and Florida City population. The arts make people human by providing outlets of expression, common ground, and even entertainment. We exist because the human spirit is a creative spirit—we provide the foundation of the global community. This is important now more than ever.