Past Projects

Past Projects

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Accomplishments: artsBASICS Schools with Artists & Partner Organizations

2017 – 2018

  • Elementary hosted 150 students from the Central High School Marching Band performance and “hands-on” student experiences with their instruments
  • Elementary 4th grade musical, “Multi-cultural — It’s a Small World”
  • Elementary teachers video-taped their use of classroom strategies from the artsBASICS Teacher Arts Summer Integration Seminar
  • CAA students worked with visiting artists for Figge exhibit: Juan Hernandez, Ed DuVall and Carol Hummel
  • Charlotte Blake Alston Teacher Workshop: “Storytelling” at the Davenport Junior Theatre, Visiting Artist Series from Quad City Arts
  • CAA curated “Toys Through Time” exhibition at the German American Heritage Center and visited the printing company where their Advent calendar art was printed for the GAHC windows
  • CAA managed “Festival of Trees”, Quad City Arts, social media campaign
  • Elementary arts integration unit centered around Norwegian artist, Edvard Munch
  • CAA students developed “News” units and videos for each in which they were the “news personalities”
  • Elementary “Kwanzaa” celebration integrated visual arts, music and social studies
  • 3rd Graders from all elementary schools attended the “Nutcracker” Quad City Ballet at the Adler Theatre
  • 5th graders from all elementary schools attended the River Music Experience’s “River Currents Music Tour”

2016 – 2017

  • R3Flex “Hip-Hop” 3 full day student workshop at 3 elementary schools
  • Quad City Chamber of Commerce membership
  • CAA “Dream Students” to Figge for “Portfolio Day” to prepare for college applications
  • CAA documentary/video collaboration with Butterworth Center on vintage stain glass restoration
  • CAA “Drum Assembly” with Philip Seward
  • CAA curated exhibit collaboration with the German American Heritage Center–“Untold Story of Santa”
  • Elementary all-student play production, ” A Day in the Life of a 5th Grade Student”
  • Elementary choral singing performed for Veterans Day Celebration
  • Elementary including “Composer of the Day” as part of a.m. announcements
  • Elementary “Multi-Cultural Day” and “Artist of the Month” displays
  • Elementary “Drumming Balls” arts integration in Physical Education program
  • CAA Music/Theatre/Dance students attended Circa 21 Workshop
  • Elementary school purchased ukuleles for 4th and 5th graders
  • CAA participation and honors in the Scholastic Awards Program
  • Annual all-schools’ visual arts exhibit at North Park Mall & Davenport Municipal Bldg. for “National Youth Art Month”
  • CAA Destination Imagination teams qualified for Global Finals after State Recognitions
  • Elementary Kindergarten and 1st Grade student musical
  • Elementary School “Auditorium Mural Collaboration” with area artists, Pat Bereskin and Brad Bisby
  • District “River Roots” music tour from the River Music Experience for all students
  • CAA Regional Summer Student Arts Workshops
  • artsBASICS Strategic Planning Full-Day Session — Davenport Chamber of Commerce
  • Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts & Focus 5 artist, Sean Layne presented “Arts Integration Summer Teacher Workshop” (emphasis — Theatre and Classroom Management strategies)
  • Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and Ball State Instructor, Ryan Hourigan presented “Arts Integration for Autistic Students” Summer Teacher Workshop

2015 – 2016

  • Community Artists’ Presentations/Demonstrations/Artist-in-Residence experiences for Creative Arts Academy of the Quad Cities students
  • Various Arts Divisions’ Summer Student Scholarships at area arts partnership locations
  • Participation in the National PTA Visual Arts Reflection Program
  • CAA Genealogy/Cultural Arts Research/Theatre Play Writing Skills Workshops/Performance for students with staffs from Davenport Main Street Library Genealogy, Davenport Junior Theatre and Sudlow Intermediate School Language Arts.
  • Downtown Davenport Main Street Library Student Visual Arts Exhibit
  • Arts Integration Summer Teacher In-Service with Co-Directors, using the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts definition
  • Opera Iowa performed and spent a full day with elementary students
  • Artist guitarist, James Hersch, visited elementary schools, students created original songs and performed
  • Elementary math, science and social studies teachers created historical drama tableaus
  • Elementary school-wide arts integration trip to the Putnam for the King Tut exhibit
  • Elementary school arts integration trip to Ballet Quad-Cities for “Nutcracker”, using visual arts integration with text in art works.
  • Grandma Moses visual arts integration elementary in “Stories Without Words”
  • “Life Cycles” studies integrated drama/visual arts
  • Arthur Murray presented “Wonderful Wednesdays” teaching various dances to elementary students
  • Creative Arts Academy students created large “Advent” interpretations in German American Heritage Center windows
  • Creative Arts Academy students submitted visual art for competition related to the Holocaust and its legacy to the Jewish Federation of the Quad Cities which was exhibited at West High School
  • Creative Arts Academy held variety of “Regional Summer Arts Workshops” for Quad City students
  • CAA students created videos including “monsters” drawn by 2nd graders in an arts integration project
  • Dorian Byrd and the Imani Dancers used arts integration of dance/music/ and visual arts teacher workshop at the Figge
  • David Baluf provided CAA visual arts classes in arts integration using printing and Andy Warhol

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 supporters 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.

Through artsBASIC  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 became the Director of the Creative Arts Academy of the Quad Cities. As staff is added to the CAA, artsBASICS personnel will also assist in the staff development of the “Arts Integration”

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  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, 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!”

Additional artsBASICS projects in 2014 and before

  • “Dare to Dance” in-service for all elementary physical education and music teachers for integrating dance into their curricula with Dorian Byrd of the Imani Dancers.
  • On-going collaboration with a professional theater company, The Internet Players, produced a production and provided play-writing, acting, and technical theatre experience for elementary students.
  • artsBASICS 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, Schnuck’s Grocery Store
  • The national PTA Visual Arts Reflection Program for the elementary level
  • Fourth grade “Drum Circle” groups for elementary students, presented by St. Ambrose music professor
  • Arts Integration Summer Teacher In-Service with Co-Directors, using the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts definition


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