In March, we hosted a hugely successful Year II wrap-up meeting of arts organizations, teaching artists, and IPS educators at Arts for Learning. This gathering featured year-end presentations by initiative leaders who have worked this year in addressing gaps in arts education. Brenda Johnston, Butler University (Goal 1), secured approval of the external communications toolkit; and a plan for parent engagement; Andrew Black, Central Indiana Community Foundation (Goal 2), presented the baseline criteria for programs and the three tiers of arts organization engagement; David Newman, Indianapolis Public Schools (Goal 3), reported on the scheduling professional development for IPS arts specialists for fall/winter 2017/2018 including teaching artists from the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts; and Greg Wallis, Harrison College (Goal 4), advanced the draft job description for a school arts liaison and proposed a plan for web portal selection process. The March meeting concluded the subcommittee work of the Professional Development Committee, Evaluation & Assessment Committee, and Budget & Resources Committee. Only the Creative Engagement Committee has plans to continue meeting this spring/summer as they prepare to celebrate National Arts in Education Week in September.
Heather Boelke, Art Teacher at Eliza Blaker School 55 was selected to attend the Kennedy Center Arts Integration Conference in June 2017 on behalf of Any Given Child Indy. Mrs. Boelke will be attending the conference from June 26 – 28 in Arlington, Virginia.
When asked why she is excited for the opportunity to attend the Arts Integration Conference, Mrs. Boelke said, “The arts are an asset for engaging students in curriculum and encouraging success. I am incredibly thankful that our community recognizes the intrinsic value of the arts in education! The Kennedy Center’s Arts Integration Conference is an incredible opportunity to learn new tools and techniques, which will assist our making gains in student achievement.”
About Mrs. Boelke
Heather (O’Cull) Boelke was born and raised in Westfield, Indiana. As the daughter of engineer and entrepreneur Larry O’Cull and master seamstress Anna O’Cull, she developed a passion for creating at a very young age and remained heavily invested in visual and performing arts throughout her youth. She graduated from the University of Southern Indiana in 2012, with a BS in Visual Art Education and a minor in Business Entrepreneurship. With an innovative mindset and broad exposure to STEAM, her unique perspective stood out amongst her collegiate peers.
Ernest Disney-Britton, Site Coordinator for the Any Given Child Indy program recently attended the Any Given Child Exchange from January 31 – February 1 at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts where he and two other Any Given Child Indy colleagues met with representatives from other Any Given Child sites. Below, Ernest reflects on the Exchange and talks about next steps for Any Given Child Indy.
“Right now Indianapolis is a shining example of how to keep the community at the heart of arts education change. That was my core takeaway from February’s national meeting of Any Given Child at the Kennedy Center for Performing Arts in Washington, D.C. where 23 cities gathered including Fresno, CA, Houston, TX, and Jacksonville, Florida. In only six months since we began the five-year implementation phase in September, look at all we have already accomplished:
- Raised over $8,000 for arts organizations to work in local schools;
- Trained 150 teachers and arts administrations in arts integration;
- Identified eight pilot schools;
- Completed a national study to create an online portal for arts education resources;
- Received 202,389 claps from voices of support on Facebook during National Arts in Education Week.
In early February, two teachers from Indianapolis Public Schools (IPS) were selected to attend the upcoming Kennedy Center Arts Integration Conference from June 26 – 28, 2017 in Arlington, Virginia. This is the second year that Any Given Child Indy will send two IPS teachers to a conference at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. Rooted in the Kennedy Center’s 30 years of experience in professional learning for teachers, the conference will unpack the Kennedy Center’s definition of arts integration and will provide many strategies that can make arts integration a part of every teacher’s approach to teaching. Click here to read the Kennedy Center’s definition of arts integration.
The selected teachers are Amber Price, teacher at Edison School of the Arts School 47, and Heather Boelke, teacher at Eliza Blaker School 55. Both Ms. Price and Ms. Boelke attended the Arts Integration Professional Development workshop provided by Kennedy Center teaching artist Stuart Stotts in January 2017, and are thrilled to continue their arts integration training at the Kennedy Center conference in June.
Stayed tuned to the website to learn more about Ms. Price and Ms. Boelke, and to hear what they most look forward to learning at the June conference.
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 Stories, Books in a Box: Lutie Stearns and the Traveling Libraries of Wisconsin, Curly Lambeau and the Green Packers, and most recently We Shall Overcome: A Song that Changed the World.