Corporate Social Investment is an evolving concept and is no longer just random charity or philanthropy.
It is now integrated and viewed upon as a key to business operations, sustainability and development.
Albert Einstein said, “Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited to all we know and understand, while imagination embraces the entire world, and all there ever will be to know and understand. Imagination is everything.”
Modern research has found that art education (painting, drawing, sculpting, singing, storytelling, poetry, drama, etc.) strengthens problem-solving and critical thinking skills, since the experience of making decisions and choices in the course of creating carries over into other parts of life. When children are encouraged to express themselves and take risks in creating art, they develop a sense of innovation that will be important in their adult lives. These studies further indicated that there is a direct correlation between art and other areas of achievement demonstrating that young people who participated regularly in the arts are four times more like to be recognized for academic achievement than children who do not participate. In short the arts develop:
But we live in a world where knowledge is equated with power and art education has come to be viewed as a luxury and consequently dropped from the school curriculum in most disadvantaged school communities.
Reg Lascaris and John Hunt saw the need and opened Room 13, according to the website “Room 13 is a place where imagination can run free. It is a place for children to go after school and express their creativity through painting, drawing, drama, poetry and storytelling, any form of artistic expression they desire.” The students run the school as a business, forming their own management team and choosing the artist-in-residence and so learn about the arts, how to run a business and life skills. This TWBA, CSR programme is currently running in xx disadvantaged primary and high schools, nationally catering to xxx children.
On the 13th November, Reg Lascaris and John Hunt organized a charity event aimed at raising funds for Room 13. Rockin’ for Room 13, was held at the Barnyard Theater and high profile business leaders, CEOs and company directors performed live on stage to a sell out crowd of 500 people, for one night only to raise money to help and sustain this project. The lineup included:
The evening ended with all the performers taking to the stage and singing the anthem for Room 13, Rockin’ for Room 13 (Rocking all over the world). The idea that “imagination is everything” and that art education is vital to the development of the child is appealing but the genius behind these performers is that they were prepared to put themselves on the line for the children of Room 13 and in doing so transform the idea into a lived experience. An experience in which we, as the audience, felt the drive, the passion, the numinous transformation that art brings to the individual. I left the performance introspective and inspired, as I began to examine my own life and all the ways in which I am so often afraid to go out on a limb and live my passions. I came to watch a show and left exhilarated, inspired, charged and changed and therein lies the true gift of the arts!
To support this initiative and buy the children’s art visit www.room13.org.za
SPECIAL MENTION – THANK YOU TO THE JACOB HAY BAND originated in 1968 for THE COMMITEMENT AND SUPPORT IN MAKING THIS EVENT HAPPEN
Thanks to Marie Jamieson