Let's Talk About Art: Placing artists in schools
This mural was done by students at Propel Braddock Hills High School under the guidance of teaching artist Laura Jean McLaughlin.
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"The arts give a generation the ability to define its own time ... The future survival of the arts in this country may have something to do with the artists, playwrights and dancers opening their worlds to the next generation ... There is nothing more inspiring for students than to meet an artist who has managed to make a life of creation ... there's nothing more inspirational for an artist than being in touch with the future." -- Wendy Wasserstein,
Putting working artists nose to nose with young people is part of the mission of Pittsburgh Center for the Arts.
The PCA's "School & Community Programs" places trained, knowledgeable, practicing artists into school and community settings, where they share the benefits of the creative process.
"Teaching artists" are skilled at all facets of the working artist's life. They produce high-quality artwork, plan dynamic artist residency projects, partner with organizations and individuals, document both process and product, design and implement budgets, and work on all the other myriad details of an artist's life.
An artist residency project has lasting benefits for all participants. Students are fully immersed in an art form and see how it connects to life and learning; teachers are exposed to alternative ways of experiencing and sharing the creative process and what it brings to their classrooms; administrators recognize the ways in which the arts fully engage students and impact their learning across the curriculum.
One of the primary benefits for the artists is the opportunity to reveal to children the creative and intellectual potential that exists within each of them and to inspire them to use this potential to improve their lives and to positively impact the future.
Artists are accepted into the program based on the quality of their artwork, their familiarity with best practices in arts in education and community art-making, and their abilities as communicators/educators/facilitators.
The program provides services to schools, nonprofit service agencies and community organizations in Allegheny, Beaver, Greene and Washington counties through a partnership with the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts. To learn more about School & Community Programs, or how to bring a teaching artist to your site, visit www.pittsburgharts.org or call 412-361-0873.
First Published September 18, 2012 12:00 am