Recently, my colleagues and I did a presentation at the Illinois Art Education Association’s conference in Lisle, IL. It was an excellent opportunity for us to share our thoughts and ideas about the need to break down the silos in Art, Communication and Media Arts programs in higher education for the good of our current and future students.
Our presentation was well received by K-though 12 art teachers and by professors from several Illinois colleges and universities. The thesis of our presentation was that due to democratization of technology and convergence, the field of Media Arts is really owned by the public at large, industry and the academic programs of Art, Communication and others. And, most importantly, educators in the Media Arts field need to dialogue on how to better prepare students for career in this exciting field.
Casey Rae, CEO, Future of Music Coalition; Board President, the National Alliance for Media Arts and Culture; Faculty, Georgetown University agrees. He states that “Upcoming generations have different expectations about how they express themselves creatively. Digital connectivity has advanced convergence in the tools and raw materials used to make and distribute art. Creativity is no longer subject to fixed media and contained geographies, but rather multi-disciplinary and feedback-centric networks. Educators must evolve our pedagogy to accommodate and nurture an emerging praxis that is already redefining culture. To effectively serve today and tomorrow's learners requires moving out of silos and embracing a more holistic and inclusive approach to the media arts”.
Sometimes, academic programs take a more narrow view and only look at Media Arts from their own discipline’s perspective. The rapidly changing discipline of Media Arts requires that we take a “holistic” approach to this discipline. This requires faculty of Art and Communication programs to find a meta-space to dialogue on how to better prepare our students. This means that students come first, not our egos or the urge to protect our academic turf.