A noisy construction site on North 6th Street in Brooklyn, New York is a challenging place to interview Paola Prestini, Creative and Executive Director of the most talked about new arts venue in town to grow creators, educators, performers and entrepreneurs -- how Prestini describes the role of the artist in a 21st century world. But -- Whoa -- this is Brooklyn, and this is National Sawdust, the innovative new haven for emerging and established artists which defines a least one of its goals as producing "versatile and resilient professionals."
In an age when global competencies are seen as a critical component of a holistic education, exposure to different people's arts is a powerful way to connect and learn about each other. Paola, who grew up on the Mexican border but spent most of her life in the United States, believes that exposure to different cultures in her travels does affect the way she writes and the way she believes every composer writes, because "you are constantly absorbing sounds."
National Sawdust plans to facilitate arts learning by bringing together artists from around the world to engage in composition-based projects, teaching opportunities, cultural exchanges and hands-on management experience. This impressive new center for the arts has developed educational programming which will focus on two general categories: Artists' Career Development, and Youth and Community Engagement.
In my interview that follows with Paola, she shares more of her vision for National Sawdust's programming and how she believes it will nurture the competencies that artists need to make a living as musicians in New York. Additionally, she discusses the reasons why she believes music education is more important than ever before, and how her time at the Juilliard School prepared her for life as a professional artist.
(All photos are courtesy of National Sawdust. Picture of Paola Prestini is courtesy of Erika Harrsch)
Join me and globally renowned thought leaders including Sir Michael Barber (UK), Dr. Michael Block (U.S.), Dr. Leon Botstein (U.S.), Professor Clay Christensen (U.S.), Dr. Linda Darling-Hammond (U.S.), Dr. MadhavChavan (India), Professor Michael Fullan (Canada), Professor Howard Gardner (U.S.), Professor Andy Hargreaves (U.S.), Professor Yvonne Hellman (The Netherlands), Professor Kristin Helstad (Norway), Jean Hendrickson (U.S.), Professor Rose Hipkins (New Zealand), Professor Cornelia Hoogland (Canada), Honourable Jeff Johnson (Canada), Mme. Chantal Kaufmann (Belgium), Dr. EijaKauppinen (Finland), State Secretary TapioKosunen (Finland), Professor Dominique Lafontaine (Belgium), Professor Hugh Lauder (UK), Lord Ken Macdonald (UK), Professor Geoff Masters (Australia), Professor Barry McGaw (Australia), Shiv Nadar (India), Professor R. Natarajan (India), Dr. Pak Tee Ng (Singapore), Dr. Denise Pope (US), Sridhar Rajagopalan (India), Dr. Diane Ravitch (U.S.), Richard Wilson Riley (U.S.), Sir Ken Robinson (UK), Professor Pasi Sahlberg (Finland), Professor Manabu Sato (Japan), Andreas Schleicher (PISA, OECD), Dr. Anthony Seldon (UK), Dr. David Shaffer (U.S.), Dr. Kirsten Sivesind (Norway), Chancellor Stephen Spahn (U.S.), Yves Theze (LyceeFrancais U.S.), Professor Charles Ungerleider (Canada), Professor Tony Wagner (U.S.), Sir David Watson (UK), Professor Dylan Wiliam (UK), Dr. Mark Wormald (UK), Professor Theo Wubbels (The Netherlands), Professor Michael Young (UK), and Professor Minxuan Zhang (China) as they explore the big picture education questions that all nations face today.
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C. M. Rubin is the author of two widely read online series for which she received a 2011 Upton Sinclair award, "The Global Search for Education" and "How Will We Read?" She is also the author of three bestselling books, including The Real Alice in Wonderland, is the publisher of CMRubinWorld, and is a Disruptor Foundation Fellow.