Workshop Reflection from Kennedy Center Teaching Artist, Stuart Stotts

Arts Integration is a key concept for communities involved in the Any Given Child initiative. It is a way to meaningfully link the arts and curriculum, strengthening learning in both areas. In an arts integrated approach, students create art that demonstrates what they know through creative expression. They also receive specific training in the art form. Teachers learn, too, as they provide ongoing arts integrated instruction. 

I recently came to Indianapolis to lead three workshops to train teachers, arts administrators and teaching artists on the core ideas involved. All three groups participated enthusiastically in a model lesson followed by an exploration of the implications of arts integration for creativity, higher order thinking, and collaborative learning. I was delighted by the level of interest in this approach, and I hope that the workshops will provide a solid foundation for moving forward for students, teachers, and the community at-large.

About the Author
Stuart Stotts is a songwriter, storyteller, and author from Madison, Wisconsin. He has worked as a full-time performer since 1986 and gives more than 200 shows a year for kids, families, and adults around the Midwest, and sometimes farther. Mr. Stotts is a frequent presenter at conferences and workshops for teachers, parents, and librarians. He has worked extensively as an artist-in-residence in elementary, middle, and high schools. He has also released several award-winning recordings and is the author of The Bookcase Ghost: A Collection of Wisconsin Ghost StoriesBooks in a Box: Lutie Stearns and the Traveling Libraries of WisconsinCurly Lambeau and the Green Packers, and most recently We Shall Overcome: A Song that Changed the World.

 

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REPORT CARD: 12/9/16 STEERING COMMITTEE: Building Momentum

Professional Development for teachers, teaching artists, and arts administrators is a priority need, as identified by IPS teachers, and this month we are bringing the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts to Indianapolis to conduct training for over 150 such educators in Arts Integration.

The Kennedy Center definition for Arts Integration is: “An approach to teaching in which students construct and demonstrate understanding through through an art form. Students engage in a creative process which connects an art form and another subject area and meets evolving objectives in both.”

During the last few months, the collective also identified eight schools for piloting general arts education partnerships next school year including two with a focus on Arts Integration. The momentum has been tremendous! The next steps are to:

  1. Finalize the program plan narrative
  2. Adopt the proposed evaluation protocols
  3. Establish a budget for implementation
  4. Develop funding strategies.

In February, these recommendations will be presented to the Governing Council for Any Given Child Indy,  co-chaired by IPS Superintendent Dr. Lewis Ferebee and Arts Council of Indianapolis President & CEO Dave Lawrence. 

Ernest Disney-Britton
Director of Grant Services & Education Partnerships
Arts Council of Indianapolis

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RECAP: 2016 Mistletoe Music Festival Student Performances at the Indianapolis Artsgarden

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This past December, the Arts Council of Indianapolis recently celebrated the 15th annual Mistletoe Music Festival in the Indianapolis Artsgarden.

Each year, Indiana schools are invited to bring students to share their musical talents with the city. In 2016, 63 schools participated in the festival, including 7 from Indianapolis Public Schools, the school partner of Any Given Child Indy. There were 2,736 students involved in the 67 performances.

 

 

To receive information about participating in the 2017 Mistletoe Music Festival, contact Erin Vollmer, Indianapolis Artsgarden Coordinator, at evollmer@indyarts.org.

 

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REPORT CARD: 11/11/16 STEERING COMMITTEE: Adopting a Vision Framework

Last month, the Steering Committee adopted a Vision Framework for Any Given Child Indy. This framework is a management matrix describing cross-functional describing cross-functional activities, cross-project programs and other ways the Any Given Child Indy initiative is working to address inequities in arts education in Indianapolis Public Schools. The Vision Framework makes it clear that the #1 priority for Any Given Child Indy is to fill the current gaps in arts-as-curriculum (e.g., 20% of IPS K-8 students have access to dance instruction). The framework also clarifies that:

  • Co-curricular activities such as field trips act as key enhancements to arts-as-curriculum; and
  • While arts integration training will be offered to all K-8 teachers, Any Given Child Indy will identify only two schools to pilot a full arts integration model.

Other key decisions at this meeting included:

  • To adjust the district-wide evaluation from one year to every three years; and
  • To distribute a monthly status update to all committee co-chairs in order to provide updates to their committee members.

In attendance at last month’s committee meeting were Dr. Wanda Legrand, Deputy Superintendent for Academics for Indianapolis Public Schools; JoEllen Rossebo, President & CEO, Arts for Learning; Greg Wallis, Chief Financial Officer, Harrison College; Dr. Yvonne Stokes, Academic Improvement Officer, Indianapolis Public Schools; Gail Strong, VP of Community Engagement, WFYI; Jason Kelly, Director, IUPUI Arts & Humanities Institute; Rilyn Gipson; and Arts Council education partnerships staff.

In December, the working committees will address issues such as parent engagement and will continue discussions about how to best keep committee members informed about the progress of this initiative. As staff for the initiative, the Arts Council will work to ensure that these monthly blog posts share the most significant updates, but I also invite anyone with additional questions to phone me at (317) 631-3301 to talk more. 

Ernest Disney-Britton
Director of Grant Services & Education Partnerships
Arts Council of Indianapolis

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