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Beauty and the Beast stimulated an interest in the arts

Updated: May 6, 2022

By Donna Burtch, board member at large, ArtsBusXpress

Envision a stage, a splash with pinks and purples projected onto creative scenes in three acts, beautiful, amazing costumes, and an exciting, enchanting story that engaged your imagination – this was probably my most favorite memory of a high school field trip to see Beauty and the Beast at the University of Montana.

Not so unusual you may think, but this was a very rare and special experience because my little school of 50 students (for 12 grades) was on an Indian reservation, and it was only because of my art teacher, Corinne Taplin, that we were able to go to see it. She was so talented and an inspiration to me. She often said, “you don’t have to be an artist, you can learn how to be artistic”, and because of her love for art, she taught us so many things about art, color wheels, dimension, and perspective in drawing and in painting. It was an enriching time, and now many schools have no funding for these kinds of field trips or art teachers.

This sparked my love for the arts and music and years later, as an adult living in New York City, I explored museums and experienced for the first time, Broadway plays and concerts, including Tanglewood with Leonard Bernstein. My memorable favorite first was seeing my first opera, Rigoletto, at Lincoln Center and I have loved opera ever since.

Field trips do matter!

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