Furthering the Field // Erie Arts & Culture
"With every residency, I have seen how the arts are a great equalizer. The kids have so many differences (in regular classes) and in this project they are all performing at the same level. One child has had to have support and modifications for everything we do; I saw that child helping coach and support a gifted student."
Second Grade Teacher
Erie Arts & Culture Arts Infusion Project
Erie Arts & Culture launched an ambitious and innovative arts-integration project called Art in Action in fall 2010. One of 23 organizations funded, by a U.S. Department of Education, $1.2M for the Arts in Education Model Development and Dissemination grant. This four-year project integrated dance, music, visual arts and drama into existing curriculum to enhance the quality of teaching in the classroom, as well as student academic achievement and engagement in the learning process.
The project provided arts infusion activities to more than 500 students in 20+ classrooms involving more than 50 artists and teaching professionals. Students used digital tools to strengthen their reading and writing skills, produced creative movement pieces to represent multiplication and division problems, and created a theatrical performance from a story book as an exercise in reading comprehension and story development. Teachers and artists worked together to develop lessons exploring how various art forms could be sources of engagement and learning to enhance their core curriculum and evaluated the impact of their work.
What Every Parent Should Know provides a summary of what we learned through the project. Erie Arts & Culture uses these findings to promote arts integration and infusion as efficient approaches to increasing the engagement and academic achievement of all students. Contact Holly Nowak, Program Director, by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at (814) 452-3427 for more information on how professional development (link to professional development subpage) and artist residencies (link to artist residencies page) can be used as tools for schools interested in integrating the arts throughout their curriculum.