February Break

It’s been a long stretch without writing anything here… I’ve been taking a little break this month to regroup, rest and rewind!

I recently had the opportunity to participate in an inaugural teaching artist’s academy  in Vermont.  About 20 of us gathered to work on defining our profession, offer ways to organize and run our programs, discuss challenges and share our experiences.  We touched on efforts to integrate arts into curriculum and ways to meet those challenges.  Being a Teaching Artist is a relatively recently recognized and acknowledged profession.  There is so much to develop and nurture there.  As things change in our world, in our country and in our schools, so must our approach to being a community artist.  The gathering was a great beginning!

The experience encouraged me to pursue offering my residencies in a new way.  I’m now proposing more involvement with students from the beginning.  I’d like to see students driving the process when possible; choosing the focus for the artwork and brainstorming ideas, working on the artwork and compositions, making decisions on color choices AND working with teachers to tie in with what they’re working on in class.  It’s a start and I’m really excited to see where it leads!

Since the airing of NH Chronicle’s show on my work, I’ve gotten busier than ever.  I’m here to tell you the arts are alive and well in New England!  I’m encouraged by how this, to me anyway, seems to point to an understanding of the importance of art in our schools and support of bringing it to our kids.

I hope to be able to write next time about how successful this new approach has been.  Thanks for taking the time to read my blog.  I’d love to hear from you!