‘Spiral Bound’ highlights importance of art for youth



It’s difficult to imagine a world without the beauty of art and the inventive minds that pluck it from the world of imagination and integrate it with reality. In recent years, however, schools across the country have cut art programs in order to maintain a steady budget for important features like cafeteria service and food. Student bellies remain full, but souls are deprived of nutrition without the regular influence of art and culture.

Sept. 9, the documentary “Spiral Bound” premiered. This particular documentary addresses the long-lasting influence of art in a child’s life, and moreover, the consequences and circumstances a child faces when deprived of a creative outlet.

“With a documentary, you don’t set out to create a specific story,” said Mike Buchanan, “Spiral Bound” director. “You film hours and hours of material and seek the story within it.”

With “Spiral Bound,” the story quickly became evident: art and culture need to be revived amongst the youth of our communities.

“Spiral Bound” illustrates the story of eight creative high school students and a group of college students who participate in Studio 345, a youth development program in Charlotte, North Carolina. Studio 345 grants students the opportunity to learn from artists who make a living in digital media, photography, music, printmaking and many other artistic facets. The program was inspired by Bill Strickland, a nationally recognized visionary who delivers educational and cultural opportunities to students and adults alike.

“[Strickland] started a program of his own years ago that started movements like this,” said Buchanan. “Communities and individuals need to step up and help fill in the gaps in culture that we are seeing.”

The subjects of “Spiral Bound” represent the fulfilling aspects of art and how it cultivates better quality of life, not just for individuals, but for society as a whole.

“Art gives you a voice,” said Buchanan, “It applies uniquely to every person and helps them become who they’re supposed to be.”

Together, the subjects display the important role art plays in their lives. The damage of losing art as an everyday class and influence is nearly impossible to measure.

“Art helps a student tap into what motivates them and makes them happy,” said Buchanan. “Without that, why would any kid want to go to school?”

Ranging from Charlotte to Washington, D.C, each student displays the positive and lasting effects that art and creativity have on their personalities and therefore their influence in their communities. For instance, the subjects of “Spiral Bound” play an integral part in multiple aspects of the documentary. Students of Studio 345 created the music and art that are used in the documentary. The title “Spiral Bound” was inspired by the song featured in the film’s opening credits.

Ultimately, “Spiral Bound” reminds its audience of the importance of giving youth the opportunity to cultivate their own creative voice. Together, those voices will guide us into a brighter and beautifully creative future.

To learn more about “Spiral Bound,” visit www.SpiralBoundMovie.com.


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