Imagine you’re 12 years old again. You’re not thinking about what you’ll do when you grow up, about the job you’ll one day have to find. You probably prefer to spend your time skateboarding, or drawing pictures or playing video games with your friends. And then one day somebody walks into your world at school and tells you, “All those things you love to do now — you can find a way to do them the rest of your life! You’re creative, you’re unstoppable and you can do anything you want to do.” Many of us didn’t hear that message a lot when we were growing up, and a lot of students don’t hear it enough today, either.
That’s the reason I created the Be An Artist Program. I started the program in 2003 as a way to encourage students of every age to see themselves as creative — and to use that creativity to do whatever they love to do. We’re all born artists, I believe, and we don’t need to follow any special route to become artists. We just need to pay attention, and discover what it is we truly enjoy doing.
Presenting the Be An Artist Program and working with students is a true passion of mine. A lot of my time on the road is spent at schools all over the United States — and the United Kingdom, France and Germany — using songwriting to help students realize their innate creativity. Arts organizations and theatre groups have embraced the program too, and I’ve adapted an adult version of the program for corporations and conflict-resolution seminars as well.
The Be An Artist Program is also a big part of what I do here in Austin, and I’m grateful to have a wide range of generous supporters, both close to home and beyond. To learn more about the Be An Artist Program — whether to invite the program to a school in your community, to volunteer for fundraising, or to make a tax-deductible donation — please visit The Be An Artist Program website.