Posted on Wednesday, October 17th, 2018 at 11:09 pm Writen by Arts Corps
Seattle Public Schools Community Partnerships Program is collaborating with Arts Corps on two workshops this year: Creative Approaches to Classroom Behavior, and Increasing Inclusivity and Belonging Through Creativity. These workshops are for teachers, school staff, teaching artists, administrators, or any one else interested in learning more about using the arts as a catalyst for creativity, increased […]
Seattle Public Schools Community Partnerships Program is collaborating with Arts Corps on two workshops this year: Creative Approaches to Classroom Behavior, and Increasing Inclusivity and Belonging Through Creativity. These workshops are for teachers, school staff, teaching artists, administrators, or any one else interested in learning more about using the arts as a catalyst for creativity, increased sense of belonging, classroom management, and engagement.
Check out our workshop descriptions below, and view the full professional development calendar HERE.
Creative Approaches to Classroom Behavior
Intended audience: Managers or coordinators and frontline youth workers
Location: Rainier Beach Library P1
Every educator has experienced students disrupting class – moving their bodies, talking loudly, interrupting peers and teachers. Often those students are directed to sit down and be quiet, or sent to the office. In this workshop we will explore the science of why young people disrupt class, the ways disruptive behaviors are linked to their environment, and how the arts and creative processes can be a conduit to meet our students’ Maslovian needs and address challenging behaviors in the classroom.
Increasing Inclusivity and Belonging Through Creativity
Facilitated by: Arts Corps
Intended audience: Managers or coordinators, frontline youth workers, classroom teachers, and classroom/school support staff
Location: 2100 Building Art Room P1
Increasing inclusivity and belonging through creativity:
Join us for an exploration of youth development through hands on activities that positively impact students’ sense of belonging and promote inclusivity in a classroom or out-of-school-time program. In this workshop, Arts Corps teaching artists and program staff will lead participants through an exploration of strategies for using creativity to foster positive mindsets across programs, age groups and venues, and the role creative youth development plays in achieving greater justice and equity in education
Posted on Thursday, September 27th, 2018 at 7:03 pm Writen by Arts Corps
Happy Fall!!!! I always love the start of the new school year when you see your friends you haven’t seen all summer, show up on the first day with a dope new Girbaud jean set, and get ready to learn and grow over the next nine months. Sometimes there’s new faces to welcome, and sometimes […]
I always love the start of the new school year when you see your friends you haven’t seen all summer, show up on the first day with a dope new Girbaud jean set, and get ready to learn and grow over the next nine months. Sometimes there’s new faces to welcome, and sometimes there’s new changes that are super exciting. This year at Arts Corps, we are experiencing both. After serving on our board for three years, Tanisha Brandon-Felder is our new Board President. She’s taking over for the amazing Sara Lawson, whom just finished her nine year board service at Arts Corps. Don’t worry though, because Sara still is, and will always be Arts Corps family.
After going through a highly thorough process, and looking at thousands of documents, we now have three new board members: Janet Galore, elizabeth ortega, and Sharmaine Tillmon. Please welcome the new board family to Arts Corps, and sing their praises. Their bios are below, and I can confirm that when you say hello to them, they will not turn their backs to you and walk away.
Sharmaine Tillmon was a singer songwriter in Seattle, WA. She started getting more hands on in Music business and taking on leadership roles when she joined The Residency back in summer 2016. As a Performer she’s had the opportunity to grace stages at Mopop Skychurch, Totem star shows, Chop Suey, Tesla, and etc. She’s also had the opportunity to curate a couple of stages at Upstream, Chop suey, etc. As a lyricist Sharmaine will continue to write what’s real, authentic and continue to inspire the next generation of leaders.
elizabeth maria ortega landed herself at Arts Corps in 2011 as a classroom assistant. She worked with a variety of art forms, began teaching her own class and then shifted into her work with FEEST. At FEEST, elizabeth worked for several years alongside young people to critically think about the root causes of health injustices in communities of color and creatively push back in their communities. She has also done work in various arts communities, youth shelters, middle and high schools, with immigrant rights and is now a teacher with a social justice emphasis at Puget Sound Community School. She is a writer, printmaker artist and carries her curiosity and creativity wherever she goes, from shifting power and institutions towards justice to playing with friends on the weekends. She creates and sells her art out of a studio in Fremont with other fellow qpoc artists. She holds a B.A. degree in Sociology from the University of Arizona and a MAEd in Education from Antioch University with a thesis on Decolonizing Learning Processes.
Janet Galore is a life-long Seattleite, artist, and designer who enjoys blending art and technology. She works as a creative director at Amazon, where her team uses research, storytelling, and prototyping to envision future customer experiences. Previously she spent 10 years at Microsoft envisioning the future; she designed games and animated dead fish at startups; and received a B.S. in pure mathematics from the University of Washington. She and her husband own a creative space called The Grocery on North Beacon Hill where they incubate art that takes risks. They seek to connect the community with creative people in the hopes of building an appreciation of artists as culture makers and interrogators, and nurturing a healthier ecology of art in our city.
Posted on Wednesday, September 5th, 2018 at 8:01 pm Writen by Arts Corps
Calling all Youth POETS, MUSICIANS & ARTISTS! We’re looking for fierce young artists (aged 14-19) who want to create change through community organizing, performance events and artistry! This is a 7-month commitment to being a leader and organizer for the Arts Corps Teen Leadership Program. Internship is from October 24th – May 1st. Leaders will […]
Calling all Youth POETS, MUSICIANS & ARTISTS! We’re looking for fierce young artists (aged 14-19) who want to create change through community organizing, performance events and artistry! This is a 7-month commitment to being a leader and organizer for the Arts Corps Teen Leadership Program. Internship is from October 24th – May 1st. Leaders will meet every Tuesday from 4-6pm at Youngstown in West Seattle.
WHAT YOU’LL GAIN:
$tipend: Leaders will receive a $40.00 monthly stipend!
Build a tight knit, loving community with 20 other youth artists and activists
Professional development and skills (promotion, event planning, public speaking & facilitation)
Artistry development in spoken word and music production
Learn about forms of oppression and how to fight against them using art and community
Good food and 60+ community service hours!
Posted on Tuesday, August 14th, 2018 at 10:53 pm Writen by Arts Corps
Arts Corps seeks a video animator capable of producing an animated video incorporating information, infographics, animated characters, statistics, and narration to develop at least a 30 sec – 1 minute animated informational video about Arts Corps integrated arts programming. To apply, see the full summary of the opportunity here.
Arts Corps seeks a video animator capable of producing an animated video incorporating information, infographics, animated characters, statistics, and narration to develop at least a 30 sec – 1 minute animated informational video about Arts Corps integrated arts programming.
Posted on Monday, August 6th, 2018 at 6:30 pm Writen by Arts Corps
When I arrived in Seattle fresh out of graduate school and started interviewing for nonprofit jobs, many people were confused. Why would a person with a Master of Divinity degree- who studied the Bible and theology and Hebrew- be interested in jobs related to social justice? How would my religious training in any way prepare […]
When I arrived in Seattle fresh out of graduate school and started interviewing for nonprofit jobs, many people were confused. Why would a person with a Master of Divinity degree- who studied the Bible and theology and Hebrew- be interested in jobs related to social justice? How would my religious training in any way prepare me for leadership in the nonprofit world? More specific to my interest in working at Arts Corps- what is the relationship between social justice, faith, and the arts?
In some ways, these are fair questions. Many Christians in this country have either completely separated their personal faith from public life, seeing no connection between the two, or their faith has been co-opted by the Religious Right; their identity as Christians has become more influenced by cultural conservatism than by theological beliefs. (For a poignant reflection on this new brand of “Fox Evangelicalism,” read this NYT opinion piece.)
But while I understand how someone might question the relationship between social justice, faith, and the arts, to me it is clear. The role of the artist and the role of the prophet is one and the same- a critic of injustice and a harbinger of hope. In his classic book, The Prophetic Imagination, biblical scholar Walter Brueggemann writes that the tactics of the prophet include both “criticizing” and “energizing”. The prophet is called to publicly critique societal structures that dehumanize while also providing an energizing message that envisions a new reality grounded in love and justice. According to Brueggemann, prophets help us make connections between the world as it is and the world as it should be.
Singer Nina Simone once said, “An artist’s duty, as far as I’m concerned, is to reflect the times.” Art can penetrate our indifference and move us to empathy and action in a way that news articles and lectures simply can’t. Without literature, poetry and painting, how would we cultivate the imagination necessary to envision a better world? Without music and dance, where would we find the strength and joy to keep going when our souls get weary?
James Baldwin took it further and said that the role of the artist is to disturb the peace. This was definitely true of the biblical prophets. Jeremiah, a prophet in the Hebrew Bible, called out false prophets for claiming, “‘Peace, peace’, when there is no peace.” Jeremiah could not stand idly by while the religious leaders of his day condoned the injustices of his people and told them everything would be alright; that there would be no consequences for their behavior.
The prophetic role of the artist has never been so apparent to me as it was on a hot Saturday evening in July at Arts Corps’ community fundraiser, Art & Sol. Much of the art on display provided a fierce critique of some of the issues our nation faces- from our deepening epidemic of gun violence to the continual targeting of young black men by our police. At the same time, the beauty, joy, and hope elicited by the artists was truly inspiring (and brought tears to my eyes).
The program began with a powerful performance by young dancers under the direction of Arts Corps’ OST Arts Manager and co-founder of the AU Collective, Cheryl Delostrinos. The grace, strength, and flexibility of these beautiful young women awed all who were present. Dancing to a contemporary pop song, these young artists inspired audible oohs and aahs with the movement of their bodies.
Next up was Arts Corps alumna and outgoing board member, Carlynn Newhouse, who performed her poem, “The Sky is Falling.” Riffing off the folk character, Chicken Little, Carlynn gave a stinging critique of our nation’s historical and ongoing injustices, as well as a beautiful exhortation not to despair because, “What is the end of something if not the beginning?”
Midway through the program, master veteran teaching artist and Arts Corps’ Director of Creative Youth Development, Eduardo Mendonça, donned his guitar and contagious smile and provided us with a delightful reminder of our shared humanity and the universal language of music. His song, “O Pato”, (“Oh duck” in English), had audience members literally quacking in their seats.
Among the many other powerful works of art that left an impression on me that evening was a painting by Arts Corps teaching artist, Lester Pearson. Imbued with vivid color, the painting depicted two Black women radiating light and happiness. In a culture that too often dehumanizes women of color and portrays them only through caricatures and stereotypes, this piece conveyed their natural beauty and everyday joy; an honest and refreshing reflection of the world as it is.
The evening included too many notable works of art to describe them all in detail here, but I would be remiss not to mention the final performance of the evening by Kalei, an Arts Corps teaching artist who brings Hula Mai ‘Oe to Hazel Valley Elementary students. From the rapid movement of her hips to her gorgeous red attire to the interactive way she invited us into her culture, Kalei’s performance was stunning. It reminded me of the words of the late rabbi and civil rights activist, Abraham Heschel, who said, “Awareness of the Divine begins with wonder.” For Heschel, awe, wonder and radical amazement are the keys to authentic spirituality. All three were elicited in me last Saturday evening. I suspect all three were elicited in everyone who attended Art & Sol.
Posted on Tuesday, July 24th, 2018 at 9:21 pm Writen by Arts Corps
I’ve been silent for the past several weeks. I haven’t written a story or posted a lesson plan, and I only made one or two comments on social media. To be 100, I’ve been struggling with some things. My father is sick and I need to head to Chicago to help care for him. I’ve […]
I’ve been silent for the past several weeks. I haven’t written a story or posted a lesson plan, and I only made one or two comments on social media. To be 100, I’ve been struggling with some things. My father is sick and I need to head to Chicago to help care for him. I’ve been here, in Seattle, but I’ve yet to find a community. My kids are in a school where they are the brown children. There’s a few students, but no teachers look like them. But, what is most alarming is:
Children are still being separated from their parents.
Are being separated.
From their parents.
Several thousand families have been divided because of their origin of birth. They come to the US seeking a better life, and instead of that, children are being snatched from their loved ones because…
They don’t speak English?
They don’t have citizenship?
They aren’t safe in the country of their birth?
They aren’t white.
I’m also not white, yet I am an English speaking citizen. I am privileged. I am lucky. Yet I’ve been stuck wondering what can I do? Then I saw this on social media:
I remembered I am an artist.
And artists create.
We make art because we must. It is our refuge from the evils of the world. When the Africans were enslaved, they still sang songs and danced. As did the people of the First Nations. The same can be said of Jews during the Holocaust. According to the NY Daily News, one survivor of the Holocaust, Edgar Krausa said this about singing with other inmates in Terezin, “Well, it kept our spirits lifted. We felt we wanted to go on. We were hungry, we were tired, we were sick. But we had something to live for.”
Art is rejuvenating. It is inspiring. I am reminded of something my Morehouse brother, and revolutionary journalist, Shaun King said about Kendrick Lamar’s album, DAMN:
“During the most difficult and ugly periods of human history, artists have always helped us endure and overcome. I’m grateful that we have Kendrick during this time.”
I write all of this to say, it’s time for all of us to make art. As individuals, as a community, and as global citizens. Let’s turn this time of darkness and sadness into something positive. Make protest art. Sing songs of freedom. Dance unapologetically. Write until the pages bleed.
We can not stay silent. We can not be silenced. We will Rise.
I’ll end with a quote from one of my favorite writers, and ask that we all try to be like those Roman candles.
“the only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn like fabulous yellow roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars and in the middle you see the blue centerlight pop and everybody goes ‘Awww!’”