The documentary interviews the art world about this timely subject — from visionary artists and respected art curators to inspiring art teachers and knowledgable museum educators to involved parents and promising art students. These thought-provoking interviews include Gary Baseman, Gary Blackwell, Michelle Borok, Denise Gray,Jason Holley, Brooke Kent, Monica Magana, Rachel Matos, Karol Heinecken Mora, Eric Nakamura, Paige Oden, Ming Ong, Ralph Opacic, Aaron Smith, Brian Stoebe, Courtney Stoebe, Tiffany Stoebe, Edwin Ushiro, Tianyi Wang, and P. Williams.
When art education is cut, aspiring artists don’t receive the important training that they need to succeed. Students who don’t necessarily want to become artists aren’t exposed to the power of art to enhance their own chosen fields of study. Even pre-school students, who can’t really talk yet, are deprived of a powerful language to express themselves.
To save art education, it’s not as simple as writing your congressman. There must be a fundamental shift in thinking. Art must be valued as highly as reading, writing, and math, if not more. Then more money will be devoted to it. Ultimately, the responsibility to preserve and protect it rests not on just political leaders, art educators, or parents but ourselves as its ultimate benefactors.
Lai was inspired to make this documentary by The Mini Show, a group art exhibition to raise money for the Mini Lai Scholarship Fund, which is managed by the respected California Community Foundation and benefits Art Center College of Design illustration students: minilai.com.
(HD, Color, Running Time: 58:50)
Statement by the Director
“It was an incredible experience working on The Mini Show and ‘Art Recession.’ Many corporations, organizations, and individuals offered their generous assistance with these projects to benefit students. My family and I feel deeply indebted to their kindness and generosity. Hopefully, through this documentary, we’re able to convey the importance of art education and help save it.”—Ming Lai, Producer/Writer/Director, “Art Recession”.