artsBASICS Accomplishments

artsBASICS Accomplishments

Mark Uncategorized

Accomplishment Highlights: Past, Present & Future

2015 Scholarships Given…

artsBASICS Grants Scholarships to Area Students

During a recent artsBASICS board of directors meeting Joel Franken reported on the Summer 2015 artsBASICS Scholarship grants. These scholarships, funded by sponsors, donors and fundraising efforts of artsBASICS were distributed through Harrison, Jackson and McKinley elementary schools, Sudlow Middle School and to the Creative Arts Academy. All schools were allotted $200 to distribute as the schools saw fit. The scholarships ended up funding activities and learning opportunities for the students selected at the following venues: The Figge Art Museum, Davenport Junior Theatre and Belle Academy of Dance.

Summer 2015 artsBASICS Scholarships

School Recipient Scholarship Amount
Creative Arts Academy Mayli Grady Figge – Drawing Camp WIU $50.00
Ronni Lugo Figge – Drawing Camp WIU $50.00
Maya Roberts Figge – Sculpture (Middle) $50.00
Harrison Elementary Samijel Corbadzic Figge – Four classes $135.00
Bekah Riewerts Belle Academy of Dance $65.00
Jackson Elementary Kiernan DeVos Figge – Drawing $50.00
Chloe Jones Figge – Sculpture $50.00
Jaelyn Landcaster Figge – Sculpture $50.00
Camryn Platt Figge – Sculpture $50.00
McKinley Elementary Jozlynn Ellis Figge – Drwaing $50.00
Abigail Hankes Figge – Painting $50.00
Xion Owens Holst Davenport Jr. Theatre – Acting $100.00
Yesenia Chavez Figge – Drawing $50.00
Sudlow Middle School Briaunna Hollingshed Figge – Cartooning $50.00
Kevon Jack Figge – Drawing $50.00
Skye Brown Figge – Sculpture $50.00
Faith Kulesh-Orr Figge – Drwaing $50.00

artsBASICS Provides Support for Educators With In-Service

Joel and Diane Franken gave a Arts Integration In-Service held July 13 – 16, 2015, at the Creative Arts Academy of the Quad-Cities using the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts definition: an approach to teaching in which students construct and demonstrate understanding through an art form. Students engage in a creative process which connects an art form and another subject area and meets evolving objectives in both. Participants included 4 Sudlow staff members, 2 from McKinley, 3 from Harrison and 2 from Jackson Elementary Schools. Teachers culminating task was to create an Arts Integration Unit to use with their classes this school year.”

What Happened in 2014…

artsBASICS: Catalyst to the Creation of the Creative Arts Academy of the Quad Cities

Nearly two years ago, Superintendent Art Tate, under the direction of the Davenport Community School Board created a committee called the “District of Distinction”. Area educators, leaders, parents and upporters were in an action planning process, to create new educational models designed to increase student engagement, allow students a deeper experience based on interests and attract new families to the district.

artsBASICS Co-Directors and members helped drive the concept of the CAA to the top of the “District of Distinction” list. artsBASICS Co-Directors, Joel & Diane Franken, spearheaded the school concept with countless support gathering meetings with the Quad Cities various business and non-profit organizations. That number now reaches over fifty strong.

At “District of Distinction” meetings it was Joel Franken who kept the magnet school idea moving forward with the help of a large interested sub-committee which included many artsBASICS members.

As specifics about the school were required to be researched and developed, Co-Director Diane Franken chaired the Curriculum and Student Support Committees.

artsBASICS Chairperson, Connie Bracey and Treasurer, Dorian Byrd, were instrumental in writing the Dance Curriculum. Connie also assisted on the Student Support Committee because of her guidance background.

Through artsBASICS member Clint Balsar’s vision, the media pieces were developed by the CAA sub-committee. These pieces of media and their message help sell the school’s concept.

Joel has since become the Director of the Creative Arts Academy of the Quad Cities with Clint as the Communication and Media Arts Chair and Connie as the Integrated Arts Teacher.

As staff is added to the CAA, artsBASICS personnel will also assist in the staff development of the “Integrated Arts” model championed by the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.


Two workshop series opportunities for teachers from our current artsBASICS schools and others were made possible through grants from the Quad City Arts Dollar$ Program. The first workshop series brought in the dynamic duo of Dan and Jessica Sheridan from the Davenport Junior Theatre. Dan is their Performing Arts Supervisor and the Artistic Director there and Jessica is an instructor. The workshop topic was: Theater Arts Integration Strategies for the Classroom Teacher. Grade level teacher participants ranged from Kindergarten to 7th grade and included McKinley, Jackson and Jefferson Elementary Schools, as well as Sudlow Intermediate and the Creative Arts Academy. Data gleaned from an online survey at the culmination of the workshops echoed the positive opinions shared by the teachers as they reported on their successes with their students. They mentioned that they had seen increased engagement of their students to learn in a variety of content areas. We are excited that we have provided more access to the arts for students in the schools to have implemented the learned strategies. We expect these positive returns for many of their students in the years ahead. This project is supported with the Quad City Arts Dollar$ funds, provided by Hubbel-Waterman Foundation, Illinois Arts Council Agency, John Deere, and the Doris and Victor Day Foundation.

Workshop Series 1 – Part I — Teaching basic acting games and exercises, for Kindergarten through 7th grade. Besides acting exercises, creative dramatics for younger student and beginning improvisation for the older ones were covered. Acting exercises can strengthen public speaking skills, diction, and confidence in talking to others. Approaches to introduce these ideas in class were explored.

Part II — Teaching playwriting. The emphasis was for upper grades and a more teacher-let group approach for the younger students. Playwriting is a different kind of story-telling, as the writer is limited to what is seen and heard. It is great for conversational skills and problem solving. A series of exercises were presented that ease the young playwright into the format. On the early grade levels, all playwritings would actually be oral or could be combined with visual drawings. The oral playwriting could be scripted and later combined by a teacher while the students relate their ideas.

Part III — Integrating theatre skills into other content areas. Theatre is the ultimate meeting ground for various art forms to collaborate and work together to communicate a story/idea. Theatre is the ultimate meeting ground for various art forms to communicate a story/idea. This cross collaboration allows a greater sense of understanding for others’ ideas. Students also develop empathy, processing stories and exploring different perspectives of different people and places. Theatre can bring content areas alive for the students. Performance skills were presented for oral reports along with the basics for public speaking.

Our presenters agreed to be available for teachers’ emailing of questions as to their practice of the ideas with students.

Workshop Series 2 – The second workshop/presentation series, given by Dorian Byrd, Director of the Imani Dancers, was entitled Dance/Music/Art: Community Arts Integration and provided classroom dance strategies for teacher participants and awareness of the possibilities of arts integration to the community. In conjunction and collaboration with the Figge Art Museum’s exhibition, African American Art Since 1950: Perspectives from the David C. Driskell African American Art, first, two workshops were given to artsBASICS and other Davenport Community School District teachers in grades Kindergarten through 6th grade from McKinley, Jackson, Jefferson, and Harrison Elementary School teachers, as well as those from the Creative Arts Academy of the Quad Cities. Jazz pianist Coleman Harris and some Imani dance students also assisted. The teacher workshops and an evening community presentation involved strategies and awareness of the possibilities of the integration of dance, music and visual arts, inspired by 4-5 exhibit selections for Ms. Byrd’s choreographic inspiration. Works were used to illustrate how the arts can integrate and further interpret a common theme. Teacher feedback was very positive.

This project offered a collaborative effort between artsBASICS, the Figge Art Museum, a musician and dance artists sharing their insights and demonstrations. The Figge staff provided background and a tour of the exhibit and shared their various program offerings. They also distributed an extensive exhibition packet of descriptions and sample color reproductions for the teachers to use in their classrooms. Teachers were given “hands-on” experience with warm-up exercises and an exploration of basic dance elements used in choreography. Teachers were encouraged to glean ideas/strategies they could later use in their classrooms to help students respond to visual art. Dorian and Coleman discussed the commonalities in their crafts, our creative process, and elements they share in dance and music with the visual arts. Student dancers assisted as demonstrators. Teachers and the community audience moved from one art work to another in the exhibit hall during the workshops and evening presentation. Dorian included a choreographed piece and several structured improvisations with the dancers, along with a little “hand dancing” with the audience. The huge evening attendance was enthusiastic in their participation which helped for a “magical evening!”

Past Projects

* “Dare to Dance” in-service for all elementary physical education and music teachers for integrating dance into their curricula

* On-going collaboration with a professional theater company producing a yearly production

* Play-writing, acting, and technical theatre experience for elementary students

* Integrated arts professional development for elementary school teachers

* Web-design and marketing mentoring program for Central High School graphic arts students

* Figge summer camp scholarships for students artsBASICS elementary schools

* A biennial artsBASICS students’ art exhibit at business partner grocery store

* The national PTA Visual Arts Reflection Program for the elementary level

* Fourth grade “Drum Circle” groups for elementary students

These workshops and projects were made possible through a grant received from Quad-City Arts and partnerships with Davenport Junior Theatre and the Imani Dancers.


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