Happy Second Anniversary!

Dear Readers,

Happy summer, and I hope you all are enjoying the new website! Tomorrow is the second anniversary of Acrylic Dreams, and I have spent some time reflecting on this organization’s philosophy and significance in my life.

I graduated from my high school almost a month ago, and during my last day as a student, our head of school confidently proclaimed that we would be the leaders of the future. We can all agree that education is essential and aims to prepare individuals for the future. However, the world of politics, technology, and demography will be completely unknown to us several years down the line.

I recently watched a series of TED talks by Sir Ken Robinson on the role of creativity in education. He argues that the current system of schooling subscribes to a particular hierarchy that places science and mathematics at the top, followed by the humanities, and lastly, the arts at the bottom. I have frequently observed this phenomenon among my peers; a student who was particularly good at coding was regarded as “smart,” whereas an equally good student with a passion for theater was considered to be “talented,” but not necessarily smart. In other words, we stigmatize creative individuals due to their unique abilities.

What does this have to do with the future? I have not existed long enough to make any definitive predictions about the world of tomorrow, but as an artist, I can say this: creative people are not afraid of making mistakes. Any Bob Ross fan will tell you that we frankly don’t make mistakes—just “happy little accidents.” We embrace uncertainty. Punishing students for making mistakes effectively squanders the abilities of the brilliant students that happen to find joy in fields that fall at the bottom of the hierarchy. It is these abilities that will help avert our current crises. If we are to best employ our human resources to equip for the future, we cannot continue to deny children a fulfilling education that acknowledges our diversity of passions.

As such, I have regarded Acrylic Dreams not as an “outlet,” but as an integral part of my high school experience. Acrylic Dreams supports a specific type of education—one that highlights the variety of ways children demonstrate intelligence and energizes their innate willingness to make mistakes. Investing in creative initiatives, such as Small Projects Istanbul, Muhra, and Mozaic helps mold the future leaders of the future.

Thank you, and I hope we can build more bridges together!

Noor