#WeAllDeserveArts: Anita Lambert – Coordinating Supervisor for Creative Arts Programs in Prince George’s County, MD

January 29, 2021


Require – Requite – Redress

Deserve – to be worthy of – merit. To be worthy, fit, or suitable for some reward or requital.

As I pondered this post I am wondering. Is deserve the correct terminology? It’s like celebrating Columbus Day. How can you celebrate a man who “discovered” a continent – and people were already there?

Require. There was never a question the arts were an integral part of my education. My parents said we had to do something artistic, something athletic and something in the church. Since there were six of us the more we could engage in those activities in one place the better. And so, we sang, danced, played instruments, took lessons, marched in parades, played for the Washington Football Team and more. The conversation was not about deserving. The conversation was about requiring. The arts were required the same as learning your times tables and conducting science fair experiments.

My parents quickly learned the arts were far more important.

Requite – to give or do something in return for something that another person has given or done. We all requite the arts, a formal way of saying the arts fill us. They feed our souls and lift our spirits, strengthen us, calm us, and yes unite us in ways as unique and individual as we are. Together the collective synergy of the arts develop a desire to share our creativity with others. And so, we honed our skills with professionals. You want to sing? Voice lessons. Play organ? Organ lessons. My brother doodled on everything and anything. Art lessons. My sisters added creative writing, dance and theatre.  We have all grown up to give back – directing dance groups, writing and directing plays, performing as a soloist at Constitution Hall, winning oratorical contests.

My parents quickly learned that this was not enough.

Redress – to remedy or set right; to remove the cause of a grievance or complaint. We learn the arts. We apply those skills in every aspect of our lives. And it is not enough. Life is more than skills. Living is life with purpose. If we deserve the arts, then they are required for life, they fill the soul, so we share with others, providing requital for all the blessings, sacrifices and gifts from our parents. It is time to redress. It is past time to ensure that everyone – everywhere – can receive arts education of the highest caliber and develop their creative artistry to the fullest potential. It is time to develop educated consumers of the arts who improve our social and economic collective. It is time to remedy the need for advocacy, because the arts are required and provided for all humankind.

My parents got it right. Require, requite and redress. NOW dear colleagues. THIS is life with purpose.

Anita B. Lambert is the Coordinating Supervisor for Creative Arts Programs in Prince George’s County, MD. She has been an educator and practicing musician for more than 50 years. Anita has served on the Board for Interact Story Theatre and now privileged to work with the AEMS Board. It is her life’s purpose to teach everyone whatever they need to learn, in the way they need to learn it.

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