Artists-in-Residence Rockin' Art
More than 500 Students Benefit From New Program!
The Artists-in-Residence program, round one, is underway and both students and teachers are really excited. Six teaching artists have kicked off this new Young Creatives program, including dulcimerist, Wanda Deegan; ukuleleist, Ben Hassenger; visual artist, Liz Wylegala; muralist, Julian VanDyke and dancers, Jane Gamble and Diane Newman.
Bringin' Art Back
Currently placed in six different Lansing-area schools, the artists are working with 25 unique classrooms, exposing fine art to a total of more than five hundred students. Residencies rotate from one school to the next and last five days at each school. The programming adds approximately 75 hours of combined supplemental classroom instruction and exposes the students to art, music and movement, which due to Lansing School District budget challenges were reduced substantially in the Lansing elementary schools.
Overall the project has been a great success. Anxious to see the program in action, Arts Council staff recently attended Liz Wylegala's third-grade Lyons Elementary art class. It was a great deal of fun, and we were so pleased to see the students very engaged and enjoying their art experience. In her work with the students Ms. Wylegala is integrating their study of Michigan into the art class, she is also teaching the students about Picasso, and they are working on their own Picasso-influenced self portraits. Ms. Wylegala kept her instruction fun and high-energy. She even integrated art into her strategy for getting students' attention--shouting out "ART" and waiting for the students' in-unison and enthusiastic relpy of "ROCKS!"
On the Air
Also visiting the Lyons' class that day was WKAR Current State Producer, April VanBuren who recorded a segment, "Working artists take up "residence in Lansing Classrooms," for the public radio station. April talked with many of the students, some reluctant at first, and others eager to share their thoughts about the projects they are working on and what they liked about art class.
Success in Progress
The Arts Council is very excited about the Young Creatives: Artists-in-Residence program and its collaboration with the schools and teaching artists. Artists-in-Residence program coordinator, Mila Theroux, is working hard to document all of the great work that the artists and students are doing, and we will be sure to keep you posted as the school year progresses.