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?

How Older Adults Learn Choreography | Judith Sachs

I like to show my 80-year-old dancers examples of performances on YouTube in order to inspire them for the work we’re about to tackle. They are typically incredulous that they can see all that movement on my tiny iPhone screen and also of the opinion that “all those twists and turns are fine, but I’m […]

Big Projects, Subtle Changes | Kate Plows

I listened quietly to another in-service presenter talk about project-based learning.  This talk is everywhere these days at my school — the idea that learning happens best in authentic, cross-disciplinary situations designed around real-world problem solving. Education buzzwords flew by too fast for me to catch.  My mind wandered back to the studio. The ceramics […]

Snow Angels, Silence, and Finding Places of Freedom in the Classroom | Debora Broderick

Before class one day, I watch my student Jessica fill in what appears to be an abstract shape on mylar with black sharpie, and I can’t help but wonder what she’s drawing.  I can’t quite see it yet, but she shades with concentration, ignoring her classmates who chat across the tables.  Class begins with general […]

Making Special | Kate Plows

It is the last day of the the three-week summer arts residency for high school students, where I spent most of my energy and passion this summer. We are wrapping up the last class in a now-spotless studio, a space that had been covered floor-to-high-as-could-be-reached with student drawings just 24 hours ago.  My students are […]

Between the Rattle and the Ease: Art’s Role in Teacher Education | Debora Broderick

A few years ago one of my students, Ally, said something to me that sticks with me to this day. As she was trying to explain why making art is so important to her, she paused thoughtfully and said, “Art forces people to think and feel.  It rattles and eases the mind.”  Ally described her […]

Head Spinning | Kate Plows

Recently, my friend Charlotte gave me some advice.  Her pottery was selling much better than my own, and I asked about her secrets.  When she started talking, I politely interrupted her to ask if I could take notes.  She agreed. My fellow Teaching Artists, take heed of Charlotte’s sage wisdom: Context:  Charlotte is seven.  She […]