Lessons from a Boxer

“This is a great place to learn about yourself.  You can get in tune with a lot of learning and things you didn’t know about yourself and your family here, like patience.”

Armond shared this wisdom with me as he wrangled a hunk of twist-ties in the Center for Creativity.  He was visiting CMA with his family, daughter Ar’mya and wife Leslie.  Armond admitted that he wasn’t initially thrilled to spend a day at an art museum.

“I never thought I would enjoy coming here.  This wouldn’t be my first choice – to come to an art museum – but I said O.K. let’s try it.  It’s something new.”

I am inspired and encouraged by Armond’s testimony.  It’s honest and heartfelt, personal yet universal.  A competitive boxer, whose passions lean towards athletic activities, Armond didn’t previously consider how he could benefit from a visit to an art museum.  His comments shine a light on a common misconception about museums; some people may think that a museum visit is primarily about the stuff we have on display – the treasured objects.

Truth is:  Museum visits are primarily about people.  Families and friends share precious time together at museums – talking, wondering, questioning, remembering.  At CMA we understand that.  We work hard to create many opportunities where people can learn about and from each other.  Art and creativity are frequently the catalyst for these conversations.   While Armond and his family made twist-tie sculptures and assembled a puzzle, they were getting to know new things about each other. And, as this father wisely noted, they were getting to know new things about themselves.

Five years ago, CMA established a new tradition.  One day each spring we roll out a special welcome to all Columbus City School students and their families.  On this day, we encourage families from our community to check us out; to have fun playing together, to spend time chatting and laughing and learning about each other.  This year CMA’s Columbus City Schools Day for Families took place on May 4.  Many enthusiastic families turned out – including the family of one very astute boxer.