By: Jordannah Elizabeth

I am a direct result of child inclusiveness in the arts. I would like for us to consider others & create rights for children to hold space in every part of the world and in every situation.


Photo By: Shannon Wallace, Blacks and Blues.com

Children are the replaced, polished planks of our mistake’s wooden floors and the portals of truth and forgiveness behind our regret’s wooden doors. We must include them in our personal manifestos, in our acute artistic realities and in our day to day longings. We have been given the responsibility to feed and build literal futures.

In our current arts communities, we are creating, if not influencing an ingrained pattern of separation and a lack of expressive fortitude that could certainly be provided and developed in the early years of children’s lives by being given the opportunity to hold space inclusive artistic realms.

Does a child have rights to hold space even though they cannot express it? Does a child deserve culture, music, sound and art even though their frontal lobes don’t become fully developed until until age 25? Is the experience of witnessing social diplomacy between the artists, or hearing the eclectic tonal chaos of improvised music a revolutionary opportunity that may mold a child’s ability to discover and enact the freedom of experiential liberation?

Are we overlooking the potential of our children? Are we as adults missing out just as much as the child, stealing the chance to see little feet move and sing, paint and spring to life without a care in the world? Are willing we to live in a world without such small pleasures? If we are choosing and molding the artistic rights of children and actively force the amount of exposure our children experience in the realms music, art and dance, are we making the right decisions? Are we consciously making these choices for them or unconsciously shutting them out?

I look around the room in intimate folk shows and quietly think that a 10 or 11 year old would love to enjoy the music, being surrounded by artists who are cursing, who aren’t screaming, but singing and playing their instruments with elegant ease. I wish I could see toddlers running around art shows, weaving in and out of legs, bumping into things, creating an airy and humorous environment as opposed to the sterile and stuffy expectations of many gallery existentially erect.

Children challenge us to laugh, they challenge us to grow, they expand our patience and hit straight to the heart of compassion and unconditional love. With all of the racism, segregation, bickering and micro aggression that occurs in our arts communities, we should allow children to share their voices and presence. We should allow them to speak, to give their perspective and to show us what art means to them, in what we have deemed “Our spaces”.


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