ARTS IN EDUCATION SPOTLIGHT: Recapping An Exciting Year

Before we dive into another school year, we’re excited to share our accomplishments in 2013-14. BAC Arts in Education had programming in all 5 boroughs including 95 school-based residencies and workshops, 23 creative aging programs in senior centers and 89 performances at schools, senior centers and parks. These programs served nearly 15,000 students, teachers, parents and seniors and provided 464 gigs for artists!

This year, we also welcomed some new faces to our AIE Team. Sarah Gepigon joined BAC in January as longtime Arts in Education Coordinator, Deborah Field, stepped away from BAC into the field of occupational therapy. Sarah’s enthusiasm and sense of humor brought some fun to the administrative paperwork processes. We will also soon be welcoming a new Arts in Education Manager as Rebecca Potts moves out of the country to accompany her husband to Prague. We look forward to introducing another new member of the AIE team soon.
In celebrating this year’s fantastic work with BAC teaching and performing artists, and wishing a bittersweet farewell to Debby and Rebecca, we captured some of the artists’ favorite moments, lessons learned, and praise from classroom teachers.

The Chorus at Prospect Hill Senior Center led by teaching artist Renee Manning performs. Photo: BAC.

The Chorus at Prospect Hill Senior Center led by teaching artist Renee Manning performs. Photo: BAC.

Teaching Artists’ Favorite Moments:
“Students left this class feeling very proud and confident about their work! One student began to call himself and sign his work ‘the artist.’ “
“It was the two quietest students who ended up with the roles with the most speaking…On the day we recorded the script, instead of being intimidated by the need to invest in strong choices, they were confident and made interesting character voice choices that were truly committed and fun.”

Fintan O’Neill Jazz Ensemble performs for a school assembly. Photo: BAC

Fintan O’Neill Jazz Ensemble performs for a school assembly. Photo: BAC

“Students occasionally had the option of doing other things for after school, arguably more fun, but they chose to do band instead.”
“I was particularly impressed with the work of Pre-K and Kindergarteners in this program, who became some of the strongest performers I ever taught at this age level. I am very proud of their accomplishments.”

Students stretch canvases for their mural with teaching artists Pamella Allen and Anne Polashenski. Photo: Pamella Allen.

Students stretch canvases for their mural with teaching artists Pamella Allen and Anne Polashenski. Photo: Pamella Allen.

Cooperating Classroom Teachers’ Feedback:
“The students in my class enjoyed this experience immensely. Even those children skeptical about the experience at first were all smiles as the classes continued. After the final performance, they were beaming with pride! It was a great boost to their self-esteem and confidence. I would like to incorporate more dance and movement into my teaching, as it is a great motivation and plays into the learning styles of many students.”
(Ballroom Dance, 4th Grade)

“The teaching artist always encouraged students to solve problems and involve their opinions and ideas, on several levels, in the process of creating the play. His patience and commitment to his craft were present and obvious at every session. The students have a lot to learn about theatre and Billy sent them on their way by building a foundation that these students can now expand upon in their own time. The experience in collaborating with the TA has given me insight and confidence that will help me direct future productions at our school. Utilizing art to engage students in academic areas yields positive results.”
(Theater, Grades 4-6)

In a performance of “Horton Hears A Who” students show off theater skills learned in a residency with teaching artist Billy Schultz. Photo: BAC.

In a performance of “Horton Hears A Who” students show off theater skills learned in a residency with teaching artist Billy Schultz. Photo: BAC.

“My students have developed Interpersonal and Analytical Skills and I think what I loved to see the most was the confidence coming out of them. In my ELA class today, a student volunteered to do some Improv in the classroom and she NEVER would have wanted to do that before participating in the after school drama group. My students loved it and it was fun seeing them build that confidence.”
(Drama with ELA integration, Grades 6-8th)

“One student who was so afraid to sing in the beginning of the class left in tears, but with coaching from the teaching artist and me that this was a “safe” place, the student came back the next week. He had his ups and downs, but performed beautifully in the end – singing loudly and acting proudly on stage!”
(Music & Movement with “Community” Integration, 3rd Grade)

“BAC gave me the opportunity to observe and enjoy my students being creative. The residency gave my students self-confidence and a positive outlook. Students developed analytical skills in choice selection of the music they were going to sing and cooperative learning. The students were excited and looking forward to performing in front of their peers, parents and teachers.”
(Chorus, Grades 6-8)

Students show off their handmade puppets in a Puppetry residency with teaching artists Alicia Gerstein & Ronny Wasserstrom. Photo: Jamie Russo.

Students show off their handmade puppets in a Puppetry residency with teaching artists Alicia Gerstein & Ronny Wasserstrom. Photo: Jamie Russo.

What Teaching Artists Learned Through Teaching:
“I came to know new ways of integrating science curriculum into choreography and how to work with large groups of young artists in meaningful ways.”

“This was the year of group improvisation – I enjoyed watching them do this and will actively seek opportunities for students to try this in other classes.”

“I was able to develop some curriculum that I would love to use again. I also was able to work on some classroom management techniques that will be useful in the future.”

Irka Mateo Band performs for a school assembly. Photo: BAC.

Irka Mateo Band performs for a school assembly. Photo: BAC.

“I learned that giving students the opportunity to perform as soloists and in small groups, even in rehearsal, promoted motivation and good attitude among the students, and helped to strengthen their skills.”

“I also have learned about teaching 2-part harmony to these young students. It’s something that is very natural for them and need not be built up and presented as some grand and challenging technique. The less we made a big deal about it, the better the outcome.”

“I feel that every year I learn a bit more about how to give better instructions, how to manage behavior, how to model instructions in a way that still leaves room for the students to be imaginative.”

Seniors show off their moves during a Dance residency with SPARC artist Emily Wexler. Photo: BAC.

Seniors show off their moves during a Dance residency with SPARC artist Emily Wexler. Photo: BAC

“The residency opened new avenues for me to explore in my art form and in my teaching practice. I raised good questions about effective teaching strategies, especially about responding, something that is an integral part of the creative process and doesn’t necessarily require verbal replies.”

“I feel I usually learn something from every residency I do but when it’s team teaching I value the opportunity to learn from my co-teacher. Best of all is when the co-teachers have very different artistic backgrounds.”

“Every year, I gain creative skills as it pertains to working with a population of non-movers to create something vivid and entertaining but that is not too difficult for the students to learn.”

“I learned to provide more time to reinforce what was learned.”

Students in a Mosaic residency with teaching artist Roseanne Quinn place tiles for a mosaic celebrating their school building’s centennial. Photo: Roseanne Quinn.

Students in a Mosaic residency with teaching artist Roseanne Quinn place tiles for a mosaic celebrating their school building’s centennial. Photo: Roseanne Quinn.

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