Give thanks to those who opened your world to art

Give thanks

Do you remember your art, dance, music, or theater teacher?

Many of us were lucky enough to have teachers or mentors who helped our creative spirits take flight. Many of us had programming in our schools that built our self confidence and let us soar -- whether on stage or the page, on canvas or in clay.

Have you had an arts instructor who changed the course of your life?

In the spirit of Thanksgiving, let's give thanks to those who opened our world to art!

Please share your story with us on our Facebook page.

Here are a few of the memories you've already shared with us:

I'd like to thank Kimberly Gross who taught Art at St. Francis de Sales High School in Chicago. It was the mid-70s and she helped enlarge my thinking and opened my mind to possibilities. She helped me think for myself. Thank you Mrs. Gross! -- Jane N.

In high school, I was afforded the opportunity to try out a year learning darkroom photography from a few amazingly patient teachers, and I am now a photographer. Had it not been for these opportunities, I would lack the creative confidence that has allowed me to become an empathetic, critical-thinking citizen of this world. Thank you to these artists, and may students never lose the same chance to grow. -- Sara S.

My first piano teacher Tom Long, from the Baldwin Piano Pathways program, and my grade school music and drama teacher Bruce Bowden were the first two people to both show me incredible support and be willing to challenge me to try things I'd never tried and think in ways I hadn't yet thought. -- Scott S.

Who has inspired you? Who are you thankful for? Let's fill our Facebook wall with your memories of your first adventures in art. While you're there, we hope you will join our community of advocates as we promote the value of the arts and arts education in schools to everyone in Illinois.

Share your story at www.facebook.com/artsallianceillinois.