Featured Stories

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When Checking Out Is Checking In | David Rufo

Serendipitous opportunities are part of the working repertoire for artists. In a documentary about Elton John’s Goodbye Yellow Brick Road, John explained how he “stumbled upon” the opening chord progression for the title track [1]. The album sold more than 31 million copies and was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame, yet the music began as an accidental surprise. In the early part of the twentieth century the Russian painter Wassily Kandinsky stumbled on the idea of abstract painting. One day as he entered his studio at twilight he saw an image he described as “a mysterious picture, on which I could discern only forms and colors and whose content was incomprehensible” [2]. Moments later he realized it was one of his paintings standing on its side against a wall. Writers also experience this stumbling upon of ideas. During a recent interview with Charlie Rose, author George Saunders described his working method as a largely uncharted process where the writer, the reader, and the … Read Full Article


ALT/space News & Commentary

Who is Art Really For? | Debora Broderick

In encouraging my students to embrace an arts integrated pedagogy in their future classrooms, I’ve been forced to recognize and acknowledge their anxiety about making art and facilitating arts-based lessons. This has left me pondering a question that kept surfacing throughout the year: Do you have to be an “artist” to make art?

Places We Work

ALT/space has now been online for a year and a half!  It’s incredible to realize that in this short time thirty-one teaching artists have contributed 171 diverse stories about all aspects of their teaching practice.  As we grow over time, we hope the stories collected here will represent as wide and detailed a picture as […]

An Opinion & Some Questions | Nick Jaffe

Art making and art learning should be in all schools because all students should have the right to learn to make their art, and make it better, and because one can learn and teach many things in depth through art making. This is the same reason that dynamic, interesting and in-depth work in math, science, history, literature, and athletic and shop and auto mechanics classes should be in schools…

Harvard Recap | Malke Rosenfeld

In early August I attended a three day institute at the Harvard Graduate School of Education (HGSE) called The Arts and Passion-Driven Learning and led by Steve Seidel and members of Yo-Yo Ma’s Silk Road Ensemble.  I signed up after receiving a very generous invitation-only grant award that encouraged me to attend one of HGSE’s […]

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On Having A Split Personality -or- Being A Teaching Artist | Chio Flores

Going back and forth between these two roles of artist and art teacher, oftentimes in the same day seems like having a split personality; I am not thinking of the obsolete medical term but rather of my dual practice which involves inhabiting two worlds that fight constantly within me…

Happy Half-Birthday, ALT/space!

ALT/space online is six months old!  During this time we have been diligently producing monthly posts and, here at the half-year mark, I am noticing an interesting shift.  All along I knew we were working hard, but still I am surprised how quickly we have moved into new, interesting, thought provoking and generative terrain.  What’s exciting […]