Art helps you to find your kingdomA lesson in darkness brings light in your eyesArt is a mirror image of identity of individual or society. It is a reflection of what we feel, think,practice, believe of how we behave and of the rituals we practise. On the whole it is a reflection ofideology of the society and our feelings. Creative and cultural education at ‘Koning Willem I College’in ‘s-Hertogenbosch is not a major part of the curriculum, but it is, at the same time, of greatimportance.Attending performances in our theatre (‘a lesson in darkness’) and visiting exhibitions is a valuableexperience for the students and enables them to participate in all kinds of cultural events outside theschool. ‘E5cultplein’ encourages students to be active by creating opportunities and positiveexperiences. We have a professionally equipped theatre (building E] and focus on five disciplines:theatre, dance, music, literature and arts of design. The theatre is a meeting place, where studentsbecome aware of the richness of cultural diversity, encounter new adventures and discover theirown, sometimes unexpected talents, interests and identiy. It’s a place where they can experience thepleasure of being on the stage. There is a growing recognition that the arts have an integrativefunction. However, cultural education is not structurally embedded in all courses, there is a tendencyto support and facilitate cultural initiatives. The theatre is not only used by the creative students, butby all of our students. There are all kinds of performances where they can meet and deal with manydifferent social issues, like homosexuality, loverboys, freedom of speech etc.Koning Willem I College believes in Gardner’s theory of multiple intelligence. Creative thinking andusing all talents of the students is one of the starting-points. The student is the reason for our being,so the student at Koning Willem I College finds ample opportunity to develop himself in his own way,based on his own talents. Art education can be very helpful.Apart from that art is very important for social cohesion. If you can accept yourself and others theway they are, and can judge them without fear or jealousy, you will be more tolerant and open-minded. And you will enable yourself to work on social behaviour and manners and accept ritualsthat are not yours. Art education also helps students to learn how to express themselves and to beable to make a presentation in front of an audience. Art education is a way to stimulate self-confidence.E5cultplein organises performances in our theatre, helps students and teachers to organise multi-cultural events, stimulates visits to museums and exhibitions, makes educational lessons about socialworks, teaches students how to write and perform stories and poems, shows films, organisesworkshops about theatre, dance, art design and debating. E5cultplein not only has the knowledgeand skills, but also has a large network and many contacts with cultural institutions in our region. Wesometimes also leave our playground: students of our college for instance made a performanceabout the painter Jeroen Bosch for the city council and made acts for many other institutions. KoningWillem I College is a community college and therefore also enables other people to make use of ourfacilities.
Art is a method of presentation to draw attention of others. A perfect ‘artist’ is a person whoseproject gives deep impressions and becomes an inspiration to others. We try to make clear that infact everyone is an artist with a talent of inspiring others, including yourself. It helps to get a betterschool and perhaps a better society, at least a kingdom for your own.Henk Langenhuijsen