How can we as designers create therapeutic environments for students to productively learn and succeed in an art discipline to positively influence the life of the student, that also emphasizes the importance of community, support for the arts and improved education of our youth?
New Orleans Center for Creative Arts (NOCCA) is an arts high school, and it inspired this investigation. Adolescents have limited exposure to the arts as a form of therapy, a potential career option, or both. Having the opportunity to learn an art form shapes students and teaches them dedication, innovation, and creativity. Having teachers as mentors and role models is valuable to the life of an adolescent, especially if they lack one in their life outside of school. A school environment that fosters not only positive relationships between students and teachers, but between classmates of all walks of life and backgrounds is empowering. Artistic support and encouragement, equal opportunities, and diversity in student body form not only a well-rounded student, but an artist. NOCCA is not only a school, but a community of artists. It has a positive learning environment where students and faculty truly care to be there because they choose to be. This teaches students the value of community, education, and it supports their independent learning skills that later prepares them for life after high school. Art integrated education gives students self-discipline and dedication to their education and to the arts. One of the problems to investigate is the outdated, poor building conditions in schools that lack creative environments and do not enhance productivity. Another issue to solve is outdated teaching methods that do not necessarily promote creativity and innovation. The fear of change and conforming to precedent standards of education may not foster the student’s individuality and independence. One teaching or learning method may work for some, but not for all. Baton Rouge Center for Creative Arts (BRCCA) will serve as a precedent to many schools in the future on how to properly design a school that has improved physical building conditions, that is universally designed, and that supports the emotional and psychological well-being of all of the faculty, students and staff.
The issue that needs to be resolved is poor building conditions in schools that do not enhance productivity, and the lack of art therapy and exposure to the arts for adolescents. A community supported arts school that teaches students any of the various art disciplines which helps them explore their creativity, further expand their education, and raise awareness in the community to support the arts and our youth will serve as a solution to this issue. The Baton Rouge Center for Creative Arts (BRCCA) will serve as a positive influence on every aspect of the student’s life, and it will serve as a precedent to many schools in the future. It will establish how to properly universally design a school to not only improve the physical building conditions, but it will also support the physical, emotional and psychological well-being of the students and staff.
One of the problems at hand is the outdated, poor building conditions in schools that lack creative environments and do not enhance productivity. Also, universal design methods and sustainability are not considered a priority to the design of schools.
Another issue that will be addressed is that adolescents have limited exposure to the arts as a form of therapy, a potential career option, or both. Schools today are not concerned with the emotional and psychological well-being of students and faculty. Art in most schools is not a considered a priority, instead it is an afterthought.
The final problem at hand concerns outdated teaching methods that do not necessarily promote creativity and innovation. The fear of change and conforming to precedent standards of education may not necessarily foster the student’s individuality and independence. One teaching or learning method may work for some, but not for all; diverse teaching methods and innovative ways of teaching are not being utilized.