Something about the combination of kid art and a school play makes me ridiculously happy. Sitting in immaculate rows of beat up folding chairs in a prehistoric auditorium/gymnasium/cafeteria gazing onto a stage of tempera painted cardboard box gardens and butcher paper everything else completely transports me - to the world of the nonsensical play, to my childhood, to a place where a young person's creative vision and impulse is honored and embraced.
This aesthetic is invariably cast (not unlike those plaster hand prints from kindergarten) into anyone's constitution who is the product of public school (or private for that matter). And to those of us for whom this form of expression was more than a break from "academics", art started here as a life line. So watching "Character Matters" as performed by Ms. Horiuchi's 3th grade class (with my own gorgeous daughter, wearing mama bear ears, in the cast) at Franklin Avenue Elementary in the Los Feliz Neighborhood of Los Angeles was a beautiful reminder. A reminder how engaged we become with each other, the world around us AND ourselves thru our own art. It was also a kick in the ass to those of us who know arts funding in public schools is being cut to nothing and continue to sit idly by.