What’s So Scary about Bringing Arts into Your Classroom?

November 29, 2011

Young Audiences’ Art is Education is a partnership with the Cleveland Metropolitan School District that provides a whole-school model of arts-integrated curriculum.  Young Audiences works with 30 arts and cultural partners to provide Art is Education arts-integrated residencies in several Cleveland schools.

Japanese Mirror Dance Performance from Art is Education partnership May 2011

From a teacher’s perspective, figuring out how to integrate an arts-infused curriculum and bringing visiting artists into their classroom for an entire year can seem like a daunting task.  Arts is Education tries to tackle this challenge head on through professional development that is provided by Young Audiences to participating teachers and artists.

Recently Young Audiences completed a professional development session in which participants focused on the process of starting  their new partnership for this school year.

In an effort to create a productive planning environment, participants were led through an open discussion of the “baggage” each partner (teachers and artists) brings to their partnership.  After creating an environment in which people could speak candidly, the group divulged their biggest fears about partnering with each other, their expectations of each other, and the major benefits or opportunities they envisioned for their partnerships.

Here is a summary of the discussion:

Top Fears or Concerns
From the teachers’ perspective:
-more on their plate/loss of time for other priorities
-risk of embarrassment adds pressure
-disruption of established routines/procedures
-students may disrespect teaching artists
-adjusting discipline to new situation
-added stress of having visitors in classroom

From the teaching artists’ perspective:
-student misbehavior/ lack of self-control
-teachers who don’t participate
– students adjusting to a teaching artist in the classroom

Top Expectations (for each other)
From the teachers’ perspective:
-have engaging lessons
-make learning authentic
-act as a role model for students
-be on time/follow the schedule
-share new methods/ideas/ways of teaching
-collaborate with teachers

From the teaching artists’ perspective:
-student performance or exhibition
-teachers will learn from teaching artists (and vice-versa)
-clear and regular communication
-support from teachers and school staff
-to learn as much as they teach
-desire to alleviate teacher’s burden

Top Opportunities or Benefits
From the teachers’ perspective:
-progression of student achievement
-positive learning outcomes
-opportunity to gain new skills/knowledge
-greater awareness of every student’s talent
-increased student self-confidence
-breaks the monotony of the school day
-eases pressure on students

From the teaching artists’ perspective:
-shared resources and materials
-new understanding about teaching itself
-building a network of arts advocates
-positive behavior changes in students
-expands artist’s creative process

Everyone found the results revealing and encouraging.  Without a doubt, it created an atmosphere of trust and mutual respect and got everyone off to a start for a successful year.  Participants left the session with enthusiasm to develop engaging and meaningful arts learning experiences for students — together.  We hope you can gain some insight from these results.


Student Art Contest – Win $100!

November 15, 2011

Young Audiences of Northeast Ohio is seeking submissions for its 2012 Student Art Contest.

Submission Guidelines
The rules are simple:
•    Entrants must be a student (PreK-12)
•    Entries must be 8.5” wide x 11” tall
•    All entries must include an entry form (click here to download an entry form)
•    Use any medium you choose (2 dimensions)
•    Have fun!

Young Audiences believes that every student should have the chance to create, connect, understand and experience the arts.  Keeping this in mind, use your imagination and make something beautiful and original!

Please mail all entries to:
Program Guide Cover Art Contest
Young Audiences of Northeast Ohio
13110 Shaker Square, C203
Cleveland, OH 44120

The deadline for submissions is February 1, 2012.  If you want your artwork back, please send a self addressed, stamped envelope.  Otherwise submissions become the property of Young Audiences.

Judging and Prizes
The submissions will be judged by the Young Audiences staff. The winner will be announced March 1, 2012.  The winner will receive a prize of $100.

We look forward to reviewing your entries.  Good luck! If you have any questions about this contest, please call 216-561-5005 or email info@yaneo.org.

To see last year’s entries and winners, click here.  And to see the 2010 winner and entry, click here.
Young Audiences has been providing quality arts programming in schools since 1953.  Last year we served nearly 250,000 students through more than 6,100 programs in dance, music, theater and visual arts. 

A True Champion of the Arts in Cleveland Schools

November 10, 2011

Eric Gordon, CEO of the Cleveland Metropolitan School District (CMSD), spent some time at Young Audiences on October 20, 2011 to talk about the role of arts education at the CMSD.

Mr. Gordon is a true champion of the arts.  His stance stems from not only the research showing the value of the arts as a part of a well-rounded education, but also from his personal experience.  Mr. Gordon’s mother is a concert pianist, and he says he grew up in a house filled with artists and music, adding to the richness of his life and his passion for the arts.Eric Gordon speaking at Young Audiences

Mr. Gordon explained how he has been trying to move an arts agenda forward in the CMSD and what is currently in place.  According to Mr. Gordon, the arts have not become “dispensable and sacrificed for math and reading” in the CMSD. Mr. Gordon outlined several points to show how the arts are a part of the district despite their financial struggles:

  • The arts are included in the CMSD’s standards for learning, including music, dance, theater and visual arts
  • CMSD maintains over 300 certified art and music instructors (“while this is not enough, we should feel confident that there is a continued commitment…”)
  • The CMSD All City Arts Program is the “envy of other culturally arts-rich school districts in other cities”
  • The CMSD’s new network of PASS Schools (premier arts specialty schools) give K-8 students more opportunities to engage in the arts than what exists at other schools
  • The CMSD has a strong partnership with Young Audiences’ Art in Education, which brings artists residences to four schools in the district

To hear Mr. Gordon’s speech in its entirety, click on the video link below:

We at Young Audiences were thrilled to hear Mr. Gordon’s encouraging words of commitment to arts education in Cleveland. We know that strong schools must include arts education and we feel confident that Mr. Gordon will continue to include the arts in his strategy and vision to transform CMSD.