Mike Huckabee, the former Republican governor of Arkansas, was one of the guests on Meet the Press this morning. Huckabee was speaking to Tim Russert about his potential run for President; normally, this would be my cue to walk away since I’m already sick of hearing about the 10,000 people who are running in 2008. (As an aside, I’m deathly afraid of finding a candidate I like because I’m sure the media will ruin them before its even time for the primaries, a la Howard Dean). I gritted my teeth as the conversation focused on Huckabee’s conservative views on civil unions, gay adoption, abortion but I have to give credit when credit is due—he had some amazing things to say about the arts. When asked about his love of music, Huckabee stated, “one of the things that I’m very passionate about is music and art and education because it was life-changing for me. I think in a creative economy we’ve got to have a whole group of kids coming up and a generation whose left and right brains are stimulated. And it’s something we’ve got to address because the future economy is dependent upon a creative generation.” In the five years that I have religiously watched Meet the Press, I don’t ever remember another guest mentioning the importance of the arts in education and the American economy.

My teenage clients are screaming for creative opportunities because many of them go through high school without ever taking a music or art class. Since most of them live in poverty, they don’t have the opportunity or supply money join the drama club, take a drawing class, or even spend a few minutes writing in a journal. Some of our most successful workshops and field trips over the last few years have included crocheting, jewelry making, improv acting, and other arts-related activities that most kids participate in from birth (through extracurricular activities like the Girl Scouts). 

I was thinking about all of these things because tonight is our party for Ahtspot. I am so proud to be a part of a business that values the creativity and hard work of artists. If you’re in the Providence area tonight, come party with us!