Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Feeling Grateful in Trying Times

We at Imagination Stage feel very fortunate that the arts are well supported in the state of Maryland by Governor Martin O’Malley and the State Legislature and in Montgomery County by County Executive Ike Leggett and the County Council.

On March 15, Mr. Leggett presented his recommended FY11 Operating Budget which included a 10% reduction in funding to AHCMC's budget for grants and administration. Given the state of the financial crisis and the many demands on the County's budget, we are encouraged by the Executive's recommended support and are grateful that the reduction was not more severe. As the County Council turns its attention to the budget, Council members need to hear from constituents!

Show your support by going to to "Give the Green Light to the Arts and Humanities" and ask your County Council member to approve the County Executive's 2011 appropriation.

What the cut means to Imagination Stage: a $30,000 reduction in funding in 2010-2011, which we will look to our friends to make up. Thanks for your action and support.

--Bonnie Fogel, Executive Director

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Tuesday, January 5, 2010

The Power of the Imagination

A recent article in the Wall Street Journal entitled “The Power of Magical Thinking” underscores the raison d’etre of Imagination Stage. The article notes that research shows the importance of imagination in children’s cognitive development:

“ for years, imagination was thought of as a way for children to escape from reality, and once they reached a certain age, it was believed they would push fantasy aside and deal with the real world. But, increasingly child-development experts are recognizing the importance of imagination and the role it plays in understanding reality. Imagination is necessary for learning about people and events we don’t directly experience, such as history or events on the other side of the world. For young kids, it allows them to ponder the future, such as what they want to do when they grow up.” [The Power of Magical Thinking, by Shirley S. Wang, the Wall Street Journal, December 22, 2009.]

When we created Imagination Stage (The Bethesda Academy of Performing Arts) 30 years ago, we didn’t know the psychological basis behind our innate understanding of the fact that a fully realized child needs continual and regular access to the three A’s: Academics, Athletics, Arts. That child will grow up to be the empowered, independent thinking, creative adult we need to manage our world – tomorrow.

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