I cannot divorce life from art

I am Shuyi Wang. My name comes from Chinese Classic of Poetry, “shu” which means pretty and “yi” which means “to be soft.” I came from Sichuan province, China. It is noted as the “Land of Abundance” and one of the major provinces full of beauties. Because of the high moisture, people from Sichuan have […]

I am Shuyi Wang. My name comes from Chinese Classic of Poetry, “shu” which means pretty and “yi” which means “to be soft.” I came from Sichuan province, China. It is noted as the “Land of Abundance” and one of the major provinces full of beauties. Because of the high moisture, people from Sichuan have good skin and we always eat spicy food to adapt the humid climate. It is a province that belongs to hot pot, panda and mahjong. Compared to other big provinces, Sichuan has a slower and comfortable pace of life. You can always see people sitting in the tea house, playing mahjong and chatting.shuyi

I studied in Mianyang Dongchen International School for nine years. It is a school with primary, middle and high school departments. Our school motto is “cultivating students to become modern men with Chinese soul and world view.” It is a school accompanying a lot of unforgettable memories for me. I experienced 5.12 earthquake in the primary school, met my role model teacher Liu who taught me to “let excellence become a habit” in middle school, and finally got in the Sino-American class to prepare for study abroad in high school.

This year, I went to join CIEE program to study abroad in Tokyo to continuous open up of new and great prospects to get intellectual evolution, and take a step further in my studies. I want to explore more in this intercultural world and I think education is the most effective way for us to access equity and diversity by connecting our eyesight and insight together, so now I am trying to apply for the graduate schools in the United Kingdom.

What drew me to Arts Corps is, of course, art. Both of my sister and I started to learn art related to painting, dancing, and playing the instrument since young. To us, art is our enlightenment in learning. However, in China, schools do not focus on art subjects, and starting from fifth grade, those subjects will be substituted by main subjects such as math. Thus, as a student who majors in Education, I want to advocate for arts education. I agree with the idea that art is important for children’s education and promotes the skills that children need like critical thinking and problem solving.

Because I also major in Communication, that is why I chose an educational organization with a communication intern, where I can apply both of my majors’ knowledge and develop my professional skills. I hope I can have a better understanding about how art influences youth in a positive way and learn more about Communication skills such as video and picture editing.

 

Shuyi will be with Arts Corps as the Communications Intern through June 2019. We’re so happy to have her on board!

 

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A Breakthrough

Every time I pick up the newspaper, and by newspaper, I mean my iPhone, I read about communities divided. I read about a nation divided. I read about a world divided. People being murdered because they aren’t white Christians. Armed forces sent to intimidate rather than help immigrants seeking solace in the US. An elected […]

Every time I pick up the newspaper, and by newspaper, I mean my iPhone, I read about communities divided. I read about a nation divided. I read about a world divided. People being murdered because they aren’t white Christians. Armed forces sent to intimidate rather than help immigrants seeking solace in the US. An elected official saying that african people were “scum of the earth,” and has sought to displace the indigenous people because “there is wealth underneath” the land.

All of this, and more, is happening daily, so what can a small arts organization in Seattle do to combat the reality we are all fearing, everyday? Do we accept it and charge through? Do we bow our heads, and hope it goes away? No we raise our heads, start working with others. We ask questions. We seek answers. We create change. We are Arts Corps.

Nothing will take the paint brush or the microphone out of our hands, if we are all holding on together. Arts Corps has three values: community, creativity, and equity. Those define how Arts Corps operates and move throughout the world. We work with our community and build bridges instead of walls.

This year, we were honored to be awarded the community partner of the year, from Teen Tix. They are a wonderful arts organization that is youth centered, and helps provide access to arts opportunities for those that have been denied those opportunities. This is a great deal of symbiosis with their New Guard program and our Youth Speaks program, and our missions are also closely aligned. I went to their gala with several members of the Arts Corps staff, and when Arts Corps received the Community Partner Award, we accepted the award together, as a community.

Community, ya heard?

Not long after the award ceremony, I flew to Montreal, Quebec to present at the Universities Allied for Essential Medicines (UAEM). UAEM’s annual North American conference is an opportunity to inspire, educate, skills-build and mobilize students from a variety of disciplines to become part of something bigger and act now on the access to medicines crisis at their universities. When I was first invited, I thought, “what, the hell?”

But, their wonderful ED, Merith Basey, convinced me that the attendees needed to connect with what we are doing at Arts Corps. She was right. During the opening speech, she spoke about the same issues that we speak about: equity, access, youth. How can they make drug pricing fair? How can more people have access to essential medicines? What can we do to raise awareness around the issues impacting low income, and mostly black and brown communities.

That’s where Arts Corps comes in. On a bleary Sunday morning, I led a workshop on how to use the many aspects of youth culture to create campaigns about inequitable drug pricing. Before my workshop began, I played an upbeat mix including A Tribe Called Quest, Chaka Khan, and Gilles Peterson. The participants looked warily at me but began moving in their seats. After a brief warmup, I introduced the tenets of youth culture, including the sounds, visuals, social media posts, clothes, and even tastes that drive our world. They were, then, tasked with creating calls to action using what they learned. The participants made memes featuring Drake and Spongebob. They remixed popular songs, replacing the lyrics with content about public health. They also made boomerang videos, music videos, and visual art, posting everything on social media, with the hashtag, #access2meds. Everyone left the workshop inspired and excited to make change.

Creativity on fleek.

Last week, I went to the New Executive Fund conference sponsored by George Soros Open Society Foundation. We are recipients of the New Executive Fund, which is for newish Executive Directors working in human rights. Arts Corps is one of a few arts organizations to be recipients, so I was excited to be with others doing social justice work, in different sectors. With people working in Syria, Malawi, India, Kenya, and throughout Europe, the conversations were varied. The strangest, and thereby wonderful, thing that stood out, was that everyone was excited about the work of Arts Corps. Using the arts to revolutionize education, support youth voice, and provide access to free arts classes can’t be dismissed. We are making an impact in the region, and we are broadening that impact to other parts of the continent. We don’t conform, we reform.

Equity. Can’t stop, won’t stop.

Even though we read something new everyday that threatens our resolve, we must find ways to unite, to think creatively about issues, and work to support youth voice. Don’t let yourself be dismayed. You are not alone. Look up from your phone and computer and tell the person next to you, “I love you.” Shake the hands of a stranger. Breathe. Laugh. Cry. Shout. Paint. Act. Dance. Play.

Make Art Anyway.

Love,

James

Check out our newest Annual Report, and see what else Arts Corps has been doing.

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Job Announcement: LIT Program Manager

Title: Program Manager – Learning Immersive Tech Supervises: LIT Teaching Artists Responsible to: Director of Arts Integration Annual Contract/Stipend: $21,000 20 hours/week @ $22-24/hour (rate commensurate with experience) Temporary, Part-Time, Term limited through August 31, 2019. Arts Corps and Reel Grrls hope to continue this role, pending funding. Deadline to apply: EOD October 29, 2018 […]

Title: Program Manager – Learning Immersive Tech

Supervises: LIT Teaching Artists

Responsible to: Director of Arts Integration

Annual Contract/Stipend: $21,000

20 hours/week @ $22-24/hour (rate commensurate with experience)

Temporary, Part-Time, Term limited through August 31, 2019. Arts Corps and Reel Grrls hope to continue this role, pending funding.

Deadline to apply: EOD October 29, 2018

PROJECT OVERVIEW:

Arts Corps and Reel Grrls Learning Immersive Technology (LIT) program addresses the need for low-income students of color in Seattle and South King County to gain equitable access to STEM fields through arts education. As district and state resources have ebbed due to budgetary cutbacks, arts experiences in the community and in K-12 schools have become increasingly limited or nonexistent. Arts Corps and Reel Grrls offer a viable and unique means of supplementing the current deficit of support for arts, tech, and computational learning through teaching artist-led workshops, as well as professional experiences and performance opportunities to support the skills acquisition of developing artists and technology innovators.

Using Arts Corps’ expertise in curriculum development for arts-based experiential learning, and Reel Grrls expertise in digital media creation, these two organizations are dedicated to developing creative habits of mind in young people and will play a major role in providing students with the skills needed and critical thinking required to successfully be working in 21st century careers. Both Arts Corps and Reel Grrls are committed to racial and gender equity and works to build capacity by recruiting and training students to be the next generation teaching artists, thus ensuring that our teaching teams reflect the identities of students.

 View the full job description here: LIT Program Manager JD

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Upcoming Professional Development Opportunities

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

11/29/18 10:00am

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.

Register for the session HERE.

 

Increasing Inclusivity and Belonging Through Creativity

1/8/19 4:00pm

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

Register for the session HERE.

 

See the full professional development calendar HERE.

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Arts Corps welcomes new board members!

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 […]

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 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.

18922707_311002669356449_3181512002812072223_oSharmaine 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.

elizabethelizabeth 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-332x442Janet 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.

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Spokes Leadership Application Open!

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!

APPLY NOW: https://bit.ly/SPOKES2019

Applications Due: Friday, September 28, 2018

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