Technology and the Arts: Can They Play Well Together?

The impact of technology on the arts has been a matter of debate at least since we had to be reminded to turn off our cell phones in performance halls.

At Lincoln Center Institute (LCI), we always prided ourselves on espousing the latest technology, but we also insisted on engagements with live performances. This duality was not easy to maintain, especially in a frosty economic climate, and, early on, technology came to the rescue in the form of video. After the students have attended a performance, they need something that will stay with them and be available as long as they study the subject: video allowed us to bring storytellers, chamber ensembles, and Shakespeare to classrooms where being stranded without technology would have meant being stranded without art.

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Sparking the Imagination


“LCI’s mandate to empower classroom teachers calls to mind the safety instructions you often hear on an airplane: Put on your own oxygen mask before you help the child sitting next to you. In other words, a teacher has to first engage her own imagination before she can help her students tap into theirs.”

Dance journalist Michelle Vellucci has written a nuanced Dance Teacher Magazine article describing Lincoln Center Institute’s approach to imaginative teaching and learning, by way of describing educators’ experiences during a 2009 summer professional development workshop focused on the digital work of art Ghostcatching (a collaboration by choreographer Bill T. Jones and digital artists Shelley Eshkar and Paul Kaiser). In addition to providing a window on the learning process of course participants, Vellucci provides an introduction to the Institute’s philosophical grounding and interviews a classroom teacher about his and his fifth-grade students’ explorations of Ghostcatching during a successful unit the previous school year.

Read Vellucci’s full article.

Learn more about LCI’s summer professional development workshops.

Ghostcatching image: choreographed and performed by Bill T. Jones digital artistry by Shelley Eshkar and Paul Kaiser

Classroom image: Nancy Bareis