artsBASICS received an SCRA Grant to develop a Teaching Artist in Residency Program. The program consists of three Davenport schools, Jackson, McKinley, and Harrison, six participating fourth grade music and art teachers, and six participating community artists and musicians. We have partnered our community artists with the art and music teachers at each school. Through collaboration, our teachers and community artists will develop units for their fourth graders that will teach them about the variety of arts, the importance of the arts, their personal abilities in the arts, and the pleasure and skills they can obtain from the arts.
At Jackson Elementary, Mitzi Harris, a long time teacher and a music methods instructor at St. Ambrose, has been partnered with Anne Mitchell, a fourth grade music teacher. For their unit, they plan to use the book When Winter Comes as influence for their dance and instrumental piece. This book focuses on Iowa animals and their winter habits. This will be a perfect piece to perform for their mid-November showcase!
Over in the art department at Jackson, art teacher Neal Meeker, a new addition to Jackson Elementary, has been partnered with David Smith. David owns Smith Studio and Gallery in Geneseo, and works as a sculptor, painter, print maker and more. Neal and David plan to collaborate with the music department and design Iowa animal themed headpieces out of colored construction paper.
At McKinley Elementary Bret Dale, Education Director at RME and guitarist for Candymakers is working with Amy Koch, McKinley’s fourth grade music teacher. Together they have developed a folk song unit in which the students will learn a version of “This Little Light of Mine,” that morphs into “You are My Sunshine.” The students will learn improvisation skills in accordance with the folk music.
In McKinley’s art department, Jamie Bond, fourth grade art teacher and new addition to the McKinley Elementary team, is working with Steve Banks. Steve is an art instructor and local artist who works with multimedia, creating eclectic pieces. Jamie and Steve are planning to have their students create clay masks.
Mary Beth Riewerts, the music teacher at Harrison elementary, is working with Sara Tubbs. Sara specializes in musical theatre and is the co-owner of the spotlight theatre in Moline. She has produced four children’s productions in the last year and has taught numerous children’s theatre classes as well as private voice lessons. Mary Beth and Sara are teaching their students “One Short Day” from the musical Wicked. The students will also learn choreography for their performance.
In the art department at Harrison, Seth Chappell will be working with Laura Carter, the fourth grade art teacher. Seth is a puppet maker and runs the website foamfoolery.net. Seth creates amazing puppets and has done workshops for Davenport Junior Theatre and The Creative Arts Academy. Laura and Seth plan to use Seth’s expertise to create puppets with their students.
The Teaching Artist in Residency Program will begin with the artists presenting to the fourth grade students and answering all of their questions about music and art. This will be followed by additional meetings where the artists will work with the students. At the end of the program, students will present their final material to the third grade classes.