We Gonna Make Art Anyway

“What the arts teach is innovation and the ability to combine things that are otherwise disparate. And that’s the stuff of genius.” John Frohnmayer, Former Chair of the NEA On November 9th, the Wednesday morning after the election, I walked in to observe one of my mentees teach his 6th grade drama class. I went […]

“What the arts teach is innovation and the ability to combine things that are otherwise disparate. And that’s the stuff of genius.” John Frohnmayer, Former Chair of the NEA

On November 9th, the Wednesday morning after the election, I walked in to observe one of my mentees teach his 6th grade drama class. I went to shake his hand but he hugged me and started crying. He was at a loss for what to teach. He asked me to help. So I led a process drama through the lens of patriotism. Students explored concepts, did the mannequin challenge in pairs and then developed scenes. The scenes needed to have one moment of conflict. By going through this process, the students were able to express their emotions about election night and then find a solution as a group to help navigate their frustrations. Students left the room more open and ready to talk. They also left the room with ideas of how they can make a difference in their school, community, and city. They began writing plays, designing posters, and sharing speeches about human rights. 

This happened because the arts awakened a sense of belonging and a sense of power in the minds of young people. We need art now, more than ever. Our young people are directly impacted by the current political climate and many are experiencing fear and frustration. They need avenues for self-exploration and a sense of ownership and power over their own education. As the new Executive Director of Arts Corps, I pledge to continue to work diligently with young people in their schools, school districts, and communities. I pledge to continue to unlock the creative power of youth and embrace arts education as a medium for social change. Our Creative Schools Initiative increases growth mindset and academic performance for students in the Highline School district. Our Hip Hop Artist Residency provides pathways to music production and vocal production for teens throughout Seattle. Our Youth Speaks Seattle program empowers young people to find their voice, take action and stand up for their beliefs.

Arts Corps knows the arts will bring us the next generation of leaders. Leaders that will help shape a future that is more equitable and just for all students. Arts Corps knows the power of the arts. We believe it. We see it. We need it. 

No matter what, we gonna Make Art Anyway. 

 

James Miles is the Executive Director of Arts Corps. A Master Teaching Artist who has worked in arts education for 20 years, he has facilitated workshops and designed curriculum for the New Victory Theater, Roundabout Theatre, Disney Theatrical Group, Theatre for a New Audience, Center of Arts Education, Lincoln Center Education, and (Out)Laws & Justice. He is on the Board of Directors for the Association of Teaching Artists and the Teaching Artist Journal. He has worked as an actor, an accountant, comedian, and a model. He can be frequently found on Twitter, as @fresh_professor, writing about arts education, educational policy, and academic inequity.

 

 

 

Read More

We’re seeking a badass leader

Arts Corps is seeking a badass leader with a lived commitment to social justice and creative youth development. Arts Corps’ next Executive Director will bring passion, authenticity and a radical vision to our work of unlocking the creative power of youth through arts education and community collaboration. Since 2000, Arts Corps addresses a critical opportunity […]

HHAR-Pinon-080
2016 Hip Hop Artist Residency

Arts Corps is seeking a badass leader with a lived commitment to social justice and creative youth development. Arts Corps’ next Executive Director will bring passion, authenticity and a radical vision to our work of unlocking the creative power of youth through arts education and community collaboration.

Since 2000, Arts Corps addresses a critical opportunity gap in a region where race is the greatest determining factor in access to arts education. As we deepen our work, we seek a leader that brings grounded urgency to providing creative space for youth voice while working to transform oppressive systems and shift culture. This is an exciting time for the organization, ripe for a new leader to have a hand in extending our strengths as we aim to grow our sustainable funding base, push ahead with creative strategies, and create new opportunities for young people and people of color to lead within this organization.

Priority Application Deadline: October 15, 2016
Please read the full job description for more information.

HHAR-Pinon-292
2016 Hip Hop Artist Residency
Arts Liberation and Leadership Institute mural
Arts Liberation and Leadership Institute mural

 

Photos by Amy L. Piñon

Read More

Announcement from our executive director and board president

Dear Arts Corps community,   It is with a full heart and grounded optimism that I announce that I will be passing the baton to a new executive director in early 2017. At Arts Corps, we embrace and value personal and organizational change, just as we seek to inspire transformative change in the lives of […]

Dear Arts Corps community,

 

speaking head shot

It is with a full heart and grounded optimism that I announce that I will be passing the baton to a new executive director in early 2017. At Arts Corps, we embrace and value personal and organizational change, just as we seek to inspire transformative change in the lives of low-income youth of color and in educational and youth-serving systems. After eight years as the director of this organization, and over ten as a member of this beautiful community, I am so excited for what will come next for Arts Corps, as well as for myself as I seek my next opportunity to create change.
While this has been a very hard decision, I know that the timing for this transition is right. Arts Corps is healthy, our strategic direction is clear, and our model proven. I have full confidence in our board of directors to hold our values and guide the organization through this transition, just as I trust our incredible youth, teaching artists, staff and community of supporters to carry forward the tremendous breakthroughs we have achieved while embracing new possibilities ahead.
Serving as a leader and member of the Arts Corps community has been the greatest professional experience of my life. I believe passionately in the mission and intention of this organization. In fact, I am not actually going far, just switching roles to that of devout donor and champion of this great work.

This of course means that we are hiring! Check out the job posting here.

 

With deep gratitude,

 

Elizabeth

 

 

A message from Board President, Sara Lawson:

 

Dear everybody:

 

This is an exciting time for Arts Corps.Sara3

We are so grateful to Elizabeth for her leadership, insight, and unwavering commitment. She is a thoughtful strategist, an effective bridge builder, and a courageous advocate for the creative power of young people. She and an amazing team of staff, teaching artists, and collaborators have guided Arts Corps through a decade of innovation, expansion, and growing national recognition. Their efforts are firmly rooted in a deep commitment to equity and social justice, and they have fostered a strong culture of learning across the organization.
Elizabeth’s considered approach to this transition has given us the gift of a generous timeline. We have prepared behind the scenes, interviewing dozens of staff, teaching artists, board members, and passionate stakeholders from across our community. We’ve had the opportunity for deep thinking and expansive conversations about where Arts Corps has come from, where we are, and where we’re going. We’ve convened a Search Committee of staff, board, youth leaders, and teaching artists to guide us.
Over the coming months, we look forward to more thought-provoking conversations with people who share our passion for this work and have a vision for how they’d contribute to Arts Corps’ next chapter. And we have full confidence that our process involving diverse voices and perspectives will lead us to the next, just right executive director for Arts Corps.

Please take a look at the job posting, and please help us spread the word.

 

Thank you!

 

Warm regards,

 

Sara

Sara Lawson

Board President, Search Committee Chair

 

Read More

We’re Hiring Creative Schools Teaching Artists

Arts Corps is hiring two teaching artists, one specializing in music and one specializing in theatre or performance, who will develop and teach project-based curriculum that integrates their art form with core curriculum in order to enhance student learning, classroom engagement and creative thinking skills. Each teaching artist will be placed in an elementary school […]

Arts Corps is hiring two teaching artists, one specializing in music and one specializing in theatre or performance, who will develop and teach project-based curriculum that integrates their art form with core curriculum in order to enhance student learning, classroom engagement and creative thinking skills. Each teaching artist will be placed in an elementary school where they will teach 3-4 classes per day, 2-3 days a week, primarily focusing on Kindergarten through third grade. The Creative Schools Teaching Artists are also responsible for the planning and coordination of performances to celebrate and showcase student work. In addition, they support professional development for classroom teachers, program evaluation and some administration as it pertains to their school sites.

Arts Corps is an Equal Opportunity Employer. This position has a social justice component that will allow for critical thinking around how external systems impact our work through the lens of racism and intersections with poverty. As an equal opportunity employer, we highly encourage people of color to apply.

See the Job Description

To apply, please send a resume and cover letter to Hillary Moore at: csi@artscorps.org Deadline for applications is 8/1/16

Read More

Meet our Hip Hop Artist Residency Teaching Artists!

Arts Corps, EMP Museum, and Macklemore & Ryan Lewis are hosting year 2 of the Hip Hop Artist Residency, which will serve up to 40 emerging youth artists through two tracks: the Vocal Track, which will  foster self-expression through lyricism, rhyme structure, and delivery and the Production Track, which will emphasize media literacy, beat-making, and […]

Arts Corps, EMP Museum, and Macklemore & Ryan Lewis are hosting year 2 of the Hip Hop Artist Residency, which will serve up to 40 emerging youth artists through two tracks: the Vocal Track, which will  foster self-expression through lyricism, rhyme structure, and delivery and the Production Track, which will emphasize media literacy, beat-making, and song construction. Participants will feature their work at a culminating event at the end of the residency.

Meet our cohort of incredible teaching artists who will be leading the program this year!

 

madeleineclifford

Madeleine Clifford

 

Maddy “MADlines” Clifford is a rapper, writer and educator from Seattle. She’s taught hundreds of literary arts workshops throughout the Bay Area, where she currently resides. Maddy also holds an MFA from Mills College, has independently released three musical projects, and performed widely, including opening for Souls of Mischief. In 2015, she served as a Hip-Hop Ambassador to Uganda through the Next Level Program, a project of the US Department of State. She’s also spent the last three years facilitating poetry workshops with incarcerated youth in San Francisco. Her range–from stage, to panel, to urban classroom, to academic setting–is extensive. Maddy’s ultimate goal is to leave an indelible footprint in a shifting cultural landscape, one in which young people’s dreams for peace can take root!

 

olisaenricojohnson

Olisa Enrico-Johnson

 

Olisa “Spyc-E Enrico has been rockin’ the mic for over 20 years. Born into a life of music Olisa began exploring theatre in 2003. She has a BFA in performance and an MFA in Theater Pedagogy. Olisa believes that artists and art are vital to the state of culture and society and hopes to share her soul through performance and teaching. Olisa is a board member of www.TheConciliationProject.org (TCP) (501c3) whose mission is “…to promote through active and challenging dramatic works, open and honest dialogue about racism in America in order to repair its damaging legacy”. Olisa teaches students of all ages and stages. Her teaching, of any subject, incorporates principles of community and shared responsibility.

 

jamalfarr

Jamal Farr

 

Jamal Farr a.k.a. Jace is a Seattle hip-hop fixture. He’s been involved with the Seattle hip-hop scene since the mid-1980s and has done work with such organizations as National Black United Front, Impact Management/K Records, and Loose Groove/Sony, as well as rapped on many independent releases.

As a hip-hop performer, Jace participates in the broader arts scene, beyond just the hip-hop scene, and uses his time to help young people in his creative writing classes to navigate their lives with words. Jace is currently a member of the hip-hop/soul-inspired group Black Stax. He prides himself of the work they do with other artists internationally as well as within the Seattle community.

 

 

ericamerritt

Erica Merritt

 

Erica Merritt began singing and performing at the age of five. In middle school she was featured in a band called Starlighters, which consisted of three student vocalists and a few members of the faculty. At 14, she joined theatre and music performance groups at Langston Hughes Cultural Arts Center. She studied voice and music in college, and began teaching choir through Northwest Folklife in 1998. Over the course of the last 15 years she has taught voice, songwriting, and choir through various art organizations. Merritt has also worked in the field of social and human services for over 18 years, and has enjoyed the amazing opportunity to combine her passions of social well-being and music through the art of teaching.

 

 

tyronemiller

Tyrone Miller

 

Winner of Vocalo Radio’s “Quest For The Best DJ” battle, Tyrone “DJ Bizzon” Miller’s creative turntablism skills, original production and hands-on style has made him one of the Midwest’s most sought- after DJs. He’s opened for or performed with artists including Kendrick Lamar, Baauer, Mac Miller, ?uestlove, Just Blaze, Naughty By Nature, People Under The Stairs and DJ Abilities. From the songs you’ve heard to bangers you haven’t, Tyrone prides himself on rocking the party without compromising artistic music selection. The same work ethic and originality that make him a standout on the turntables carry through to his other roles in music – radio host, music columnist, event organizer and youth work professional.

 

In addition to DJing, Tyrone co-hosts Those Hip Hop Guys Radio on WMSE 91.7FM, Milwaukee’s only all underground and old school hip-hop radio show. He’s a member of Vocalo Radio’s DJ collective, which broadcasts on Chicago’s 91.1FM and Indiana’s 89.5FM. He created and writes for JSOnline’s Those Hip Hop Guys Blog, the only column in a major Wisconsin publication focused on hip-hop culture. He is also a youth work professional with experience in teaching music classes, directing youth programming, creating curriculum, leading workshops, writing grants and organizing fundraising events and concerts. All of these projects are inspired by his mission to put musical diversity and real choice back into people’s hands, rather than letting mainstream media dictate what defines good music.

 

otienoterry

Otieno Terry

 

Born and raised in the Central District, Otieno Terry is a singer-songwriter and producer sure to take you on a journey with his eclectic and passionate style. With roots in soul, hip-hop, and jazz, Terry blends a vast array of genres for a truly unique sound through which he delivers powerful messages. As a former participant in Seattle Theatre Group’s More Music @ The Moore program, and winner of EMP Museum’s Sound Off! competition in 2014, Otieno continues to gain recognition for his collaborations with Seattle-based artists, in addition to his own music. Furthermore, he is a teaching artist and mentor with Creative Justice Program.

 

ArtsCorps_logo_white_LRG copy

empmuseumlogo

Read More

We’re hiring a Creative Schools Teaching Artist!

In the fall of 2015, the Creative Schools Initiative entered into a three-year project in the Highline School District funded by the U.S. Department of Education.The Creative Schools Teaching Artist will collaborate with 5th and 6th grade teachers in Highline Public Schools to deliver project-based arts integrated units. Arts Corps is hiring a visual teaching […]

Students perform historical fiction stories about migration at Gregory Heights Elementary as part of Highline CSI. Photo by Tove Tupper

In the fall of 2015, the Creative Schools Initiative entered into a three-year project in the Highline School District funded by the U.S. Department of Education.The Creative Schools Teaching Artist will collaborate with 5th and 6th grade teachers in Highline Public Schools to deliver project-based arts integrated units.

Arts Corps is hiring a visual teaching artist (the project has two visual artists and two theater artists) who will teach units that integrate visual art with language arts in order to enhance student learning, classroom engagement and feelings of belonging. Each teaching artist will split their time between two elementary schools, where they will contribute to an arts rich environment by co-teaching in the classroom, supporting students’ online portfolios and guiding exhibits/performances with students. Creative Schools Teaching Artists will also be responsible for the support of professional development for classroom teachers, program evaluation and some administration as it pertains to their school sites.

Creative Schools TA Job Description 2016

Highline Public Schools is one of the highest poverty, most diverse and lowest performing school districts in its region. This district serves nearly 19,000 Washington students Kindergarten through Grade 12 in South King County, an area characterized by the availability of inexpensive housing and the presence of diverse populations of low-income families, including many different immigrant and refugee populations. Because of these factors, Arts Corps is especially seeking applicants who have some connection to the communities of South King County, and who are bilingual in English and Spanish. People of color are strongly encouraged to apply.

 

To apply, please send a resume and cover letter to Nate Herth at: csi@artscorps.org

Priority Deadline for applications is 6/8/16

 

Learn more about the work of Highline Creative Schools Initiative this past school year: Drawing Out the Artist

 

 

Read More