Arts Advocacy Day 2016 is only a few days away! We had the opportunity to interview our keynote speaker, Amir Jackson, of Nurture the Creative Mind. Read ahead to get a sneak peak of what he’ll be talking about at Arts for Colorado’s Arts Advocacy Day 2016!
Registration for Arts Advocacy Day 2016 closes February 28th! Click here to register!
Can you please give me a brief overview of your work in the arts?
In 2007 I founded the nonprofit organization ‘Nurture the Creative Mind.’ The organization empowers young people and helps them establish self-value, while developing marketable skills. Since our conception we have positively impacted more than 10,000 youth within and outside of the state of Utah. I was also selected as a Change Leader in the Arts by the Utah Department of Arts and Museums and participated WESTAF’s Emerging Leaders of Color program in 2015. Art is wrapped up in my life’s purpose and plays a role in my everyday life by molding how I view and navigate the world around me.
Please share some accomplishments of your work as Founder of Nurture the Creative Mind.
I am grateful that the Nurture the Creative Mind Foundation has achieved many accomplishments in our 9 years of impacting youth. Some of them are tangible, such as the awards the organization has received: The American Red Cross Hero’s Recognition Award, Mayor’s Award for Arts Education and New Civic Fellow Award for Civic Engagement. The organization also has two books the students have published and the development of a product that has been patented. Some accomplishments are not so easily quantifiable or visible, such as the positive impact that our program has on the thought process, mentality and outlook that our students have, extrinsically and intrinsically.
What was appealing to you that lead you to a career in empowering youth through education, creativity and character development?
Nothing inspires me more than growth and possibilities. Which is why I think I am drawn to the youth and creativity; it allows for boundless possibilities.
What are some challenges in the arts that you believe can be overcome by advocacy?
There are many challenges that I believe advocacy for the arts, or education about the arts, could address. Among those are the multifaceted benefits that arts has on the economy, culture, education, individuals and the community. Art and creativity is not a compartment separate from these themes, but inherently interrelated.
We’re very excited to have you speak at Arts for Colorado’s Arts Advocacy Day! Can you give readers a sneak peak at what you’ll be speaking about?
The world around us is changing more quickly than any other time in history. As we look toward the future, establishing the importance or developing and nurturing creative minds in young people should be a top priority.
I will illustrate why this is so necessary and give examples of how Nurture the Creative Mind and other organizations have successfully done this.