Gillian isn’t sick, she’s a dancer!

Joey’s choice to post Benjamin’s Carson brilliant speech (see this post) reminded me of how much I love a good speech.  It’s like a good song.  Here’s one of my favorites — an equally brilliant speech by Ken Robinson, who asks, at TED conference, “Do schools kill creativity?”  His answer is “We are educated out of creativity.”  This one will make you laugh & wonder just like Dr. Carson’s speech does.  So as we did yesterday, we urge you to watch it to the end — and we urge every parent, student, teacher and most especially the School Committee, Jason Grow & Peter Dolan to watch.  If you really think you don’t have 20 minutes, at least catch his story about world renowned coreographer Gillain Lynne (Cats, Phantom of the Opera, etc.).  It starts at 15:15

After you watch the video, take Sir Ken’s advice and let your kids enjoy some of Cape Ann’s most creative people tonight.  Lots of excellent choices with many of our favorites — all starting early enough to take the kids.  See the complete live music schedule here.


  • Yes, that certainly was an equally brilliant speech, not to mention very funny. Great share. It is so true what he had to say, and hopefully our future educational system will take heed. It took me many years to realize I was an artist and not meant to be in the soul-sucking (at least for me) corporate world. I wish for no child coming up today to have to do anything that doesn’t pursue their true passion. I loved the Gillian story.


    • We have the same wish, E.J. — especially for our son. Perhaps you could tell the story of how you realized you were an artist. Come to think of it, wouldn’t it be an inspiring project to interview locals (like you) who have discovered their talent and release the GMG version of the Epiphany book Sir Ken references in the video?


      • That could be an interesting project. Since leaving the corporate world, I have met many ex corporate creatives, and people attempting to make the shift from the corporate world to pursue their passion. As Robinson pointed out, as children we are instictively and naturally creative, and then the system begins to teach it out of us until it is buried beneath facts and figures, and for many, lost. I feel very fortunate to have rediscovered my artistic side and with it the passion and determination to pursue it, even it meant giving up the “things” our society holds so dear and precious.


  • What do Peter Dolan and Jason Grow have to do with this story?


  • The singling out of Peter Dolan and Jason Grow in this post is absurd. Their (and my and many other’s) opposition to the charter school had nothing to do with “creativity”. It had to do with its incredibly poor planning, execution and approval and the way that these schools are funded here in the Commonwealth. You know what else is important to teach in schools? Math.


  • I would remind Mr./Mrs. Van Ness that I make my living in the creative world. My entire career has been about “creativity”. My father was an art professor, my mother was a photographer and a school teacher. I grew up and have lived in the arts my entire life. Their implication that I somehow need to be schooled on the importance of the arts in our children’s lives is sadly off the mark. Mr./Mrs. Van Ness mistake my opposition to their poorly planned and executed “arts integrated” charter school as somehow being against the arts in our children’s education. Nothing could be further from the truth. The arts must be an integral part of our children’s lives. What we don’t need however are tragically flawed attempts to hijack millions of dollars from our schools in an effort to indulge our own vanity.


  • You really lack class, Van Ness.
    You buggered up the Charter School, now let it go.

    As has been said countless times – it had nothing to do with ‘art’ (…or the lack of it in the School District…) and all to do with solipsism and ineptitude.


    • Martin Del Vecchio

      “You buggered up the Charter School”

      Hugo, that’s not really fair. Peter Van Ness abandoned the school long before it opened, so technically, he isn’t solely responsible for its comprehensive failure.


  • Peter van Ness was a founder of the Gloucester Community Arts Charter School. In the school’s charter application, the founders first pointed to standardized test scores in their “Statement of Need”. Is this video about focusing our education efforts on standardized test scores? If that’s the case, thanks for the recommendation, but I’ll pass.

    By the way, that school collapsed abruptly in the middle of the year, costing teachers their jobs, and forcing parents to scramble to find places in other schools for their children, state evaluators issued a scathing report detailing multiple failures of that school to do what the founders said the school would do in the application. It was publicly known over a year before the school opened that the state’s Charter School Office had determined that the founders had not met the minimum legal criteria for chartering. Despite that revelation, as well as considerable evidence that state officials had ignored and violated the law for political purposes when they granted the charter, the founders still forged ahead and opened the school.


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