UW–Madison’s Chris Walker joined Host Ali Muldrow on WORT-FM’s “A Public Affair” program for a conversation about his vision for the arts on campus and in the community — “arts for everyone, everywhere.”
Walker is the director of UW–Madison’s Division of the Arts, and is also a professor in the School of Education’s Dance Department. As the founding artistic director of of the Office of Multicultural Arts Initiatives’ First Wave Scholarship Program, his research intersects dance choreography for the concert stage with collaborations with visual and performance artists for museum, alternate spaces, professional theater, and video/film.
In the segment, titled “Arts Are Necessary,” Walker shares why he feels access to creative play is critical.
“Any art experience that you go into is going to ask you to make something for yourself, from beginning to end,” explains Walker. “Something completely new, something that did not exist in the world before you decided that it should exist. I believe that every young person should have that experience and should get at least the introduction to that experience in a diversity of art forms.”
Muldrow and Walker also dive into how essential art is for students of all ages, and Walker argues that curriculum within schools should be built around and reflect this necessity. He says that access to the arts is core to any child’s early education experience, and it’s also core to the university experience:
“I encourage my students to be honest with themselves and then to use the tools and resources that UW–Madison has to offer,” says Walker. “There are a million and one pathways that are now available to you. So I encourage my students to take advantage of the fact that you are at a Research I institution. The problems that you may raise become really great opportunities for creative problem solving.”
To learn more about Walker’s vision for the arts at UW–Madison and beyond, listen to the full interview at wortfm.org.