The Right Brain Initiative for Creativity in Public Schools

Arts education is a becoming a priority in Portland schools, with the Right Brain Initiative integrating creativity and the arts into existing curriculum.

Aug 5, 2015

Do you consider yourself a right brain thinker or left brain thinker? Research has shown that brains are divided down the middle into two hemispheres, with each half performing a distinct set of operations. The left is more practical, mathematical and logical whereas the right is creative, language-oriented and intuitive. Both sides are crucial for functioning and both sides need to be properly nourished.

To tend to the right side, the Portland, Oregon-based Right Brain Initiative seeks to enhance cultural and artistic resources for students aged 5 to 14 within local school systems. The initiative came as a response to routine budget cuts in local schools, after which arts were the first class to go. Understanding that creativity and critical thinking make for a well-rounded education, individuals banded together to make arts education accessible and a priority for all community schools.  

Programming is interwoven into existing curricula, and the Right Brain Initiative works with teachers and artists to challenge students to express themselves creatively. Programs include use of visual arts, creative writing and oral expression. To date, nearly 20,000 students and 59 Portland metro schools in seven school districts are exercising their right brain, creating beautiful synapses that cultivate and expand their minds.

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