We’re celebrating National Arts in Education Week by sharing stories of how #ArtsEdChangesLives. Step into two residencies with us to see how students across Brooklyn learn and grow through BAC’s arts education initiatives:
BAC teaching artists provide hands-on learning experiences for K-12 students in a variety of arts disciplines including dance, digital media, theater, music, visual arts, literary arts, and more. Our residencies foster creativity and imagination as well as community-building and problem-solving by bringing customized programs to schools and students across Brooklyn.
Discovery and connection through stop-motion
This year, fourth and fifth grade students at PS 295 in South Slope studied stop-motion animation through teaching artist Amanda Gutierrez’s “Animating Visual Metaphors” class. Over fourteen weeks, students developed a better understanding of both visual art-making and stop-motion animation software. Using literary techniques like metaphor and simile, students created original stories and animations to represent their family and friends.
Students in the after-school sessions felt more connected to their classmates and were excited to learn a new skill.
“At first, I didn’t know a lot of the people in [the class], then by the end of the year I made new friends, was an animator, and had a great experience,” said one student.
PS 295 teachers were excited that students were developing skills that would help them in different learning modes.
“I had no idea about digital media and stop motion animation,” said PS 295 partner teacher Aisha Gaisi. “It is something I would love to incorporate into my classroom in the years to come because it fosters patience and the notion of doing something several times before it looks and feels the way you want it too. This is the same for school work – both in literacy and in math.”
Leaving a lasting mark through literary murals
Over in Gravesend, fifth and sixth grade students at PS 95 found a stronger sense of community through collaborating on designing and painting murals in the stairwells of their school. Led by school Principal Janet Ndzibah and teaching artists Alex Velozo and Pamella Allen, students reimagined and redesigned covers for their favorite books, including Harry Potter, Esperanza Rising, and Wonder, to be enlarged as painted murals. Students drew their covers on tracing paper, enlarged them, and then used transfer paper to outline the images on the walls before painting.
The scale and permanence of the project left a lasting impression on students, helping them feel connected to and proud of their school.
One student remarked to a staff member, “I’m really glad I joined the after-school art class because I really love drawing and I’m proud of my school. I’m excited that this will be on the wall when I come back to visit after I leave.”
“This project really made students work together to create something that was original, as well as enhance our environment with student-created work. I believe this creative process is a great way to have students work together,” said partner teacher Stella Bayiokos.