When schools closed last spring, we knew it was time to improvise. Even (or especially!) at home, students need high-quality learning experiences and creative engagement to ensure they continue growing. Closed classrooms presented a significant challenge for artists to collaborate with teachers and inspire students.
Enter Arts & Learning Kids. Young Audiences’ talented team created this arts-integrated TV show where master teaching artists and educators guide children in fun and inventive math and literacy lessons. The 30-minute, arts-infused episodes—there are more than 100 of them—bring joyous learning to life with music, beat boxing, illustration, puppetry, dancing, and more. Arts & Learning Kids are tailored to specific grades—preK to K, 1st and 2nd, and 3rd to 5th—and the content they are studying.
The shows have been available to Baltimore City and Prince George’s County students through local cable TV channels, on our Facebook page, and through direct, weekly emails to more than 175 educators. And now, EVERY Maryland public school district can purchase these lessons for its students and families!
All Arts & Learning Kids episodes are available for purchase by school districts, educators, and care providers across the state.
The episodes support both remote and in-person learning and can be a useful tool for teachers working with students in both spaces. Check out some highlights, here!
Like all of us in so many ways, we didn’t know what to expect after launching the show. But soon it became clear: thousands of students, families, and educators have used the Arts & Learning Kids shows to stay in touch, add some joy and diversity to their lessons, and continue to learn and grow. And with each show, we include written extensions – academic and arts-based activities that can be taught in a virtual or in-person classroom. As one school principal put it, the shows make it easier for teachers because it is easy to access and the kids are so engaged. “It is central to instruction.”
In the New Year, Arts & Learning Kids will reach more districts, more educators, and more students. Spread the word! If you’re interested in bringing Arts & Learning Kids to your district, students, household, or schools, send an email to [email protected].
Pure and simple, our teaching artists are the engine for the inspired learning Young Audiences brings to the classroom and to students. They drive the creativity. They are the inspiration that excites and motivates students. And they give selflessly.
Now it’s our turn to give to them – through the Teaching Artist Emergency Fund.
You can support our partner artists in this unusually challenging time. Classrooms are closed. Programs and schools that contract for our teaching artists are financially challenged. As a result, our artists have lost more than $80,000 in earnings between September and December—and we project greater losses this Spring—and their opportunities to use their craft outside of YA have largely disappeared. Many of our partner artists are struggling, and there is no clear timeline for when they can again return to the classroom and restore their income.
By pivoting to online learning—and also through the generosity of our incredible supporters—we’ve been able to mitigate some of that financial impact. We’ve partnered with our artists to develop incredible online content. We also raised more than $57,000 through the Teaching Artist Emergency Fund launched in the Spring of 2020—all of which was given to our artists. We’ve helped to keep them working and reducing their financial gap.
Prior to the Winter holidays, our Board allocated $30,000 financial relief to artists…but it’s not enough.
Today, we are reopening the Teaching Artist Emergency Fund. Two generous donors are furthering the relaunch of the Fund with an additional gift of $5,000. Knowing that 100% of the money contributed to the Fund goes directly to the artists and their families, we are asking you to offer your support by making a contribution to the Fund.
On behalf of our artists, their families, and the students who benefit from their work, thank you.
Stacie and the YA Team
I am struggling with the events of yesterday. Like so many, I feel anger, shame, sadness, and confusion. But I also know I will never truly understand what Black and brown people must be going through as these horrific events unfold. Many of my white friends and colleagues have expressed shock. Most of my Black friends and colleagues have shared that these events were not shocking at all, and, in fact, are in line with how they have always experienced this country. Herein lie the many truths that need to be reckoned with.
The dichotomy between how police treat white supremacist terrorists and how they treat BIPOC going about their days or engaged in protests could not be clearer; nor could the series of events that lead our country here.
I am grateful that, when the events were unfolding, I was in community with about 90 artists, educators, and staff as part of an organization-wide series of race equity trainings. I wondered, coming into the meeting, if we would move forward with the training as it was planned or not. Ti Coleman, co-facilitator of the training, said something to the effect of, “This country has been burning for a long time, and this is just a different fire.” Ti and their co-facilitator, Maryanne Fields, did what amazing teaching artists do: They held space for group processing while completing the objectives of the training. That represents the challenge teachers and teaching artists often face: Holding space for collective and individual traumas in the midst of the learning tasks.
I am thinking today of our young people and the adults who are stepping into spaces today to support our young people. I want to lift up something that Ronald McFadden, a school board member with City Schools and a BCPS music teacher, posted: “Teachers, take a moment and balance yourselves tonight. Tomorrow we are on the frontline. What is happening in our country should not be ignored. Our children are watching and they need us to guide them through the truth.”
Our work at YA is to transform the lives and education of young people, and this is just as important today as it ever was. Our race equity work is and will grow stronger, deeper, and broader because that is the key to sustainably changing the reality we face. I look forward to continuing to work with this community – all of you and the students we work with – as we navigate the truth.
Let’s keep building together,
If you are part of any nonprofit, what kinds of things come to mind that a board member might ask you to bring to a meeting? Is it a budget? The latest donor report?
This is why I love the Young Audiences Board of Directors. Yes, sometimes they ask me for these things. But, prior to our last meeting, the Board Chair asked me, “How are the artists doing?” He wanted to bring a report that spoke to this.
If you are reading this, you likely already know that COVID-19 has hit the artist community hard. Nearly two-thirds of artists and creative workers report being unemployed. Last year, when COVID-19 hit, it was the Board that launched the Teaching Artist Emergency Fund and, between the individuals who donated to that, foundations that allowed us to repurpose grant funds, and the Maryland State Arts Council, YA was able to ensure that those artists who were depending on contracted income last school year received what they were counting on. YA provided over $270,000 in earnings and financial relief to artists in our community. In turn, our artists innovated, and we found new ways to put them to work continuing to inspire and engage children during the pandemic: Check out Arts & Learning Snacks and Arts & Learning Kids, two of our innovations, which continue to positively impact kids.
COVID-19 is still with us. School budgets are frozen, and money typically earmarked for the arts is being directed elsewhere. The result: Our artists lost more than $80,000 in earnings between September and December, and we project greater losses this Spring. On December 18th, when Board members saw this, they agreed to allocate $30,000 in immediate financial relief to artists. Five days later, on December 23rd, this relief hit artists’ bank accounts.
Board members also agreed to relaunch the Teaching Artist Emergency Fund, and swiftly found two donors to kick off the Fund with $5,000. We know our artists want more than financial relief. They want to be put to work, to breathe joy and creativity into virtual learning, and to show up for kids when they could really use us! One hundred percent of the funds raised will go directly to putting artists to work and benefiting children.
Wanna see who these amazing board members are?!? Check them out here.
In closing out this love letter, I am sharing just one example of the outpouring of love from YA artists when they received this unexpected and much needed financial relief:
It brings me to tears but tears of great joy to know we have people like you in support of your artists in these trying times! With the holidays coming up and very low income on our part, we want to say God is good and this blessing is just in time and right on time and much needed. Working with YAMD for two decades has been one of our best journeys, as we are still working to create top quality virtual prerecorded videos and live Zoom performances, etc. To have some kind of income flow and we are more than dedicated to staying connected to youth and community which is most important. We love you dearly, Brandon Albright, Illstyle Peace Productions.
We love our Board dearly, too! Be on the lookout for how you can join our board in loving our artists through the Teaching Artist Emergency Fund this Friday.
Providing students with engaging, meaningful, arts-infused learning experiences is a team effort—and we’re incredibly excited to announce that ours is growing!
We’re pleased to welcome Jessica Smith Hebron to the Young Audiences team as our new Chief Program Officer!
Jessica’s strong experience as a master teaching artist, arts manager, and entrepreneur uniquely positions her to enhance our many programs that ignite learning. For years, Jessica has successfully engaged young learners in the arts—both in classrooms in her role as teaching artist, and by planning and coordinating big picture programs. She’s done the work on behalf of students, and her approach could not be a better fit!
Jessica is a multidisciplinary artist and accomplished playwright, musician, screenwriter, and children’s book author with wide-ranging talents and a deep understanding of the arts’ power to positively transform a child’s self-image.
As Chief Program Officer, Jessica will lead Young Audiences’ development and enhancement of innovative programs that use the arts to spark student learning, curiosity, and expression while building relationships with educators across the state. She will work to diversify our offerings, support the program team as they support educators, and apply a racial justice approach to program development and evaluation.
“Early and continuous exposure to arts programming enriched my childhood with imagination, empowerment, and countless learning opportunities,” says Jessica. “I believe that every child deserves access to arts programming that is as inspiring and educational as it is impactful, and I am excited to use my extensive experiences as a master teaching artist, arts manager, and entrepreneur to continue the crucial work of innovating and transforming the dynamic programs offered by Young Audiences.”
Prior to joining Young Audiences, Jessica was the Interim Executive Director of Prince George’s African-American Museum and Cultural Center and served as Children’s Program Coordinator for Busboys and Poets. She is also the owner and founder of Culture Kingdom Kids, LLC, which delivers innovative and empowering children’s events with a cultural twist, including assemblies, festivals, and professional development workshops for diverse audiences.
Throughout her career, she has engaged thousands of students in the arts and managed programs that connect cultural awareness with arts integration. The experiences and ideas she brings will mean stronger programs and expanding impact on the students and educators we reach. Welcome, Jessica!
Written by Stacie Sanders Evans,
President and CEO of Young Audiences/Arts for Learning
In November, the Director of Arts Administrators of Color, Quanice Floyd, penned an op-ed with the title The Failure of Arts Organizations to Move Toward Racial Equity that called on the national arts advocacy group Americans for the Arts (AftA) to increase transparency and accountability and make progress toward racial equity in its role as a national leader in the arts and culture sector.
My hope is that you will read this piece to understand the many concerns of artists and arts administrators of color; and the many opportunities that AftA was given to respond to these concerns. No wonder Ms. Floyd put the call out for Black, Indigenous, and other POC artists, arts leaders—and the organizations that serve them—“to come together to build agency, support one another, shift the current systems that have alienated members of our community since their inception, and invest in ourselves when these organizations will not.”
Ms. Floyd’s courage in standing up to a titan in the arts caught the attention of many who had observed or experienced harmful actions as well—and resulted in leaders in the arts to call for five actions listed here. The Washington Post has now elevated the voices who are calling for change at AftA. My hope is you will read both of these articles, too.
What Ms. Floyd did, she shouldn’t have had to do. Imagine the risk she had to take in her professional life to call out someone, and an organization with so much power? She displayed a love for our field and a belief in the potential of AftA to do and be better—these are two things we have yet to see from AftA’s board of directors. It is out of love that I write this piece and use our platform to amplify Ms. Floyd’s voice.
Many of you know our organization and me, so you know I am white and lead a nonprofit that predominantly serves Black and brown students in Baltimore City. Our community of staff, board, artists, and teacher faculty has become increasingly and intentionally more racially diverse to better reflect the young people we reach.
What some of you may not know is that Black and brown artists of Young Audiences have loved me and our organization in the same way that Ms. Floyd loves this field and AftA. These artists have shared that there have been times when they have felt hurt, unseen, and ignored by Young Audiences. Their sharing these experiences was a tremendous gift to me—because it helped me understand what I was doing to get in the way of my own commitment to advancing race equity through our work in schools and our organizational structures—but it is a gift that they should never have had to give. We can’t continue to expect people of color to continue these acts of love at their own peril.
It is always Young Audiences’ responsibility to stand up for racial justice. We stand with Ms. Floyd and ask that you do so, too.
Written by Stacie Sanders Evans,
President and CEO of Young Audiences/Arts for Learning
The arts shape who we are. When we’re exposed to an art form–when we’re diving in and really experiencing it–we’re seeing life through a different lens. This means that we’re accessing information that might otherwise have been out of reach and making connections that may not have been evident. And when these experiences happen in the classroom, students are empowered to make decisions, to collaborate and build with their peers, and to understand lessons in a way that is accessible to them. In celebration of National Arts in Education Week, we want to amplify the message that now more than ever, the arts are an essential part of every child’s education.
I remember the steel drums from my first assembly in second grade, the ballet performance of my first field trip at the Columbia Coliseum in South Carolina, and music class in the trailer. My first artist-in-residence experience introduced me to Batik in fourth grade. We had arts integration before anyone thought we needed to define what that was: In fifth grade, our teachers gave us a camcorder, and we produced a music video using Cyndi Lauper’s lyrics to True Colors as part of ELA curriculum.
This was all before I turned 12 years old. These moments made a mark on me. #BecauseOfArtsEd, I knew that life existed beyond my neighborhood, that history expanded beyond what I knew, and that those who “got” Cyndi Lauper “got” me at a time when I needed to feel understood. Three decades later, these moments from school resonate with me more than anything else.
It turns out my robust arts education back in the 80’s is now deemed a privilege. In the years since I was in elementary school, the facts show that kids today have fewer artists and arts teachers in their lives and as part of their public education.
This is not the only privilege that I benefit from and, when you are a person carrying privilege, it’s easier to look at the world through a window instead of raising the mirror to the world you are a part of. The mirror reveals a City where the police receive a budget of half a billion dollars–a sixth of the overall city budget–while our school system receives a mere fraction of that. The mirror shows that Black and Brown children in our state are less likely to have visual arts, dance, music, and theatre as part of their education. Imagine all of the moments of discovery, expression, connection, and cohesion that are eliminated by not having those kinds of teachers in their life?
The disinvestment grows. With the economic fallout of COVID, “belt-tightening” is already happening in school budgets; arts positions for the current school year in my kids’ public school have been cut, and I’ve heard that other arts teachers have either lost their positions or have been asked to not teach their art forms (i.e. an “elective”) but in a “core” subject. How is this ok when children are experiencing the trauma of a global pandemic and the murdering of Black people, including George Floyd, Breona Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery? How is this ok when the arts could help build the sanctuary our kids need and fuel the empowerment and self-actualization needed for the next generation to create a more racially just world?
At Young Audiences, we see that when we integrate the arts into instruction–beyond the art room or dance studio, and into literacy and math–you get high levels of engagement and, in turn, higher levels of achievement, particularly for kids who are identified as below grade level. This is because different things motivate and speak to different learners. For many kids, the arts may just be that thing. Each child has their own light switch that they sometimes need help turning on. The arts, teaching artists, and arts teachers in my life flipped that switch for me.
We at Young Audiences have come to realize that it can play a more intentional role in disrupting systems, like public education, when we see that system oppressing Black and Brown children instead of uplifting them. We are starting by getting our own classrooms in order, so that the faculty who teach in our Summer Arts & Learning Academy can construct anti-racist classrooms where all children are celebrated, honored, and affirmed. We asked this faculty to step into their roles as change agents within the current system. We understand that, in order to transform systems, we need to lift up an alternative model for what a new just system could look like. Artists, arts teachers, and arts organizations are essential to dismantling and rebuilding.
YA, in community with teaching artists, is on a course to re-envision how the arts can be used to transform the learning environment in school settings and at a systemic level. We know that #BecauseOfArtsEd, children start Kindergarten better prepared and ready to learn; that #BecauseOfArtsEd, students experience less summer learning loss, leading to more instruction time devoted to learning new material; and that #BecauseOfArtsEd, school communities see positive academic achievement and social and emotional development among students. The new system undoubtedly includes the arts. And we know that students absolutely deserve the arts as part of a well-rounded education. But, in this society, if we want to see a different reflection when looking in the mirror, we need them.
This post originally was written for AEMS and their #WeAllDeserveArts campaign. To learn more about the important work AEMS does to support and advance quality arts education in Maryland, visit their website at aems-edu.org.
By now, Maryland students will have started their new school year. We know they have been missed terribly by their teachers and by their friends. And while they might not be reuniting in the ways that they had hoped, we know that they can still feel the love, the excitement, and support they would normally get in person. We know this because this summer, we were able to build and maintain the community and connections that students and families have come to expect from our programs—even though the circumstances were different.
Just as in years prior, students practiced their math and literacy skills each day with educators and professional teaching artists in our Virtual Summer Arts & Learning Academy (SALA). Besides the traditional benefits of summer learning, our students had the additional experience of getting adjusted to online learning in the fall. One parent said, “I really appreciated the fact that students were able to be in a virtual camp and prepare themselves for the upcoming virtual school year.”
“I really appreciated the fact that students were able to be in a virtual camp and prepare themselves for the upcoming virtual school year.”
And because they were learning through the arts, students were engaged, they had fun, and they were driven to learn and succeed. We saw puppet theatre performances and were treated to kitchen instrument concerts. We heard all about new passions ranging from embroidery to engineering. And we saw students and their families and caregivers having fun while learning and engaged in the arts together.
Teaching artist Marian McLaughlin’s class made a collaborative crankie—a moving illustrated story—after reading the book “City Green”. The crankie shows everyone’s garden plots in their imaginary community garden.
We discovered that our Virtual SALA students RULE Zoom! At this year’s program culmination, students presented collaborative class projects and Creative Challenges and we were absolutely blown away by their creativity and hard work. And it’s not just the time and effort that was apparent in their presentations—you can feel their joy and pride, their camaraderie and excitement—even through the screen!
Students in this year’s Virtual Summer Arts & Learning Academy worked with teaching artist Femi the Drifish and educator Mrs. Cassin to create “Our Changing World News”.
We also had the honor of congratulating 19 incredible students on their completion of the Bloomberg Arts Internship, the college and career readiness program for rising high school seniors. Like our SALA students, the 2020 interns completed the entirety of the program virtually. All summer long, these students honed their writing skills, prepared applications for college, attended virtual workshops on financial literacy and college preparedness, and met over Zoom with professional artists working across a multitude of disciplines.
At their worksites, interns completed projects that required extensive research and the development of new skills. They engaged in lively and thoughtful discussion; they showed up and challenged themselves and inspired each other to aim high; and they cared for and supported one another daily.
This video, created by Gyasi Mitchell, BAI class of 2019, offers a glimpse into week four of our virtual Bloomberg Arts Internship.
We learned so much about reaching and inspiring students virtually and about connecting talented and committed teaching artists and educators with families in all new ways this summer. This was not the summer any of us expected when we started planning for it last year—in what now feels like a very different time. But summer is a magical season at Young Audiences, pandemic or not, and we are so thankful to be able to take this experience and all the lessons we learned and apply it to the new school year.
We are truly excited to now offer a diverse array or synchronous and asynchronous programing to help schools engage students this school year. We know that creating content that changes the pace of remote learning can be a daunting challenge for educators. Young Audiences’ remote learning programs provide the tone and flow that makes learning interesting and fun. Our standards-based resources motivate students to stay engaged and provide busy educators with high-quality, fully customizable options for delivering content. Visit yamd.org/remote-learning to learn more about how our professional teaching artists bring excitement and joy into your virtual classrooms!
Young people especially have felt the brunt of disappointment this year. It’s been hard for adults not to throw up our hands defeated by what felt like every important event and pivotal milestone of 2020 being cancelled. Imagine how that feeling must be amplified in teenagers. And it wasn’t just the celebratory moments, the graduations, dances, concerts, performances, and year-end trips being cancelled. Important next steps were postponed and progress, halted.
Many students relying on the professional experience an internship provides have missed out on those opportunities as well. But not Bloomberg Arts interns. The Bloomberg Arts Internship (BAI) has always been special. Since 2017, the chance to work within arts and cultural organizations, to learn from and alongside arts and cultural professionals, and to be a valued voice within an organization has been extraordinary for rising high school seniors in Baltimore City. Couple that with mentorship, college prep, and practice with writing coaches, and you can understand what makes BAI such an invaluable opportunity for young people at the intersection between high school and college. It had to happen.
Each host city—Baltimore, Boston, New York City, and Philadelphia—stepped up to the challenge of reimagining and delivering an intense and multifaceted program involving multiple organizations and students from many different high schools in a virtual space this summer. If that doesn’t tell you that the Bloomberg Arts Internship is something extraordinary, know this: 75% of our Baltimore program’s college mentors are BAI 2017 graduates and our social media manager, Josh Ray, is a BAI 2018 graduate. To have so many alumni return full-circle to guide students, to make sure that they, too, have the opportunities, training, and insight needed to be successful in college and careers speaks volumes. We are so honored.
The 2020 Bloomberg Arts Internship Worksites:
Art with a Heart
Arts Education in Maryland Schools (AEMS)
Arts Every Day
Baltimore Jewelry Center
Baltimore Youth Arts
Dance & Bmore
Evergreen Museum and Library
Living Classrooms – Ascend through Music Program
Maryland Historical Society
Maryland Institute College of Art
Single Carrot Theatre
The Baltimore Museum of Art
By now, our 2020 cohort of Bloomberg Arts Interns have each settled into working with one of these 15 arts and cultural organizations in Baltimore–some who have welcomed interns since the program began in 2017, some brand new this year, all of them excited to work with students and make the most of their internship even in a virtual landscape. We cannot wait to hear and read about the projects they will imagine and develop this summer in their blog and through their Instagram page. Like most programs post-COVID-19, the Bloomberg Arts Internship looks a little different this year. But it feels right.
Bringing photographer Christina Delgado to Cross Country Elementary Middle School in Baltimore City this spring for a self portrait residency was supposed to be one of the highlights of the school year. Last year, when Kristine Buls, the lead science teacher at the school, responded to a call to work with the artist, she knew the opportunity would be just right for her students. In her previous life, Ms. Buls worked as a photographer, so the thought of getting cameras into her students’ hands was irresistible. It had to happen! At the time, of course, no one imagined that by spring, working together in a classroom would not be possible.
As it did around the globe, the COVID-19 pandemic sent the Cross Country students into a starkly different way of living and learning. “I was really upset when I realized we weren’t coming back to school,” said Ms. Buls. The artist residency that had been planned was special. Exelon, the energy provider and parent company of BGE, commissioned the project and would display the finished Cross Country student photographs and mixed media pieces as a permanent installation within their Chicago headquarters. It was a big deal—one that the school faculty and staff, Christina Delgado, and the students and their families had all been looking forward to.
Could the adults in our students’ lives be resourceful and creative, proactive, and flexible–not just to ensure that children’s basic needs are met, but that their whole selves are nurtured—even in times of crisis? The answer is yes. Ms. Buls said that she was met universally and enthusiastically with support. “It means so much that they’re using actual cameras instead of cell phones. It’s a very different experience and most of them haven’t had that. And the fact that we could morph this experience from in-person to virtual… I think it’s gonna be different, but I think it’s gonna be great!”
The public health crisis could have halted any dreams of working on the project, but this was an opportunity too special to let slip away. With so much already being taken from students because of COVID-19, Principal Stanfield and Young Audiences thought it was more important than ever to create this work during this unique moment in history. “This has been a big undertaking and I wouldn’t have been able to do it without the efforts and guidance of Katherine Dilworth from Young Audiences and Kristine Buls—there have been many successes along with many moments of learning and adjusting,” said Christina Delgado. “This experience has played a pivotal role in my teaching/teaching artist career.”
Christina reworked her in-person lessons so that they could be delivered virtually and the school district got the students the equipment they needed to complete the project. “I was elated that through this experience, Cross Country was able to purchase 50 cameras for their school,” said the artist. “It has always been a dream of mine to leave cameras for students and teachers so that the work can continue.”
“Parents have been really, really excited about participating,” said Ms. Buls. “I think the school closures and social distancing has been really difficult on the kids. They feel special—they’re getting a camera! And I think it’s gonna be special, too, because of the time they’re doing this in. They’re recording history.”
Black lives matter. Young Audiences stands with those fighting for justice in Maryland, Minneapolis, Louisville, and across our country. We honor those who have been murdered and otherwise harmed by our nation’s systemic racism and police brutality.
We recognize that #BlackLivesMatter is a movement, not a moment, and as an organization it is our responsibility to be engaged and stay engaged—both in this powerful moment, and in those that follow. We acknowledge that our organization has benefitted from systems of oppression, and in the fight for racial justice, we must continue to examine and change our own organizational practices and culture.
Artists shape culture. Artists help us to see, understand, and express injustice. And, if we want to build a world that is just—we as a society need to be able to imagine that world. The arts are critical to that.
Knowing that this time, while not new, is extremely challenging for Black people, we wanted to share a Black only healing space that some may be interested in:
- The Healing Hour: On Thursday, June 4, a safe space on Zoom for Black voices to process feelings surrounding black lives lost to police brutality, hosted by a Black clinician Brie Sutton, LGPC
We also want to share some of the organizations and resources that we have found valuable in our learning. The resources below are just some of many resources to explore.
We are committed to continuing to learn. To listen. To question. To be questioned. To respond. To act. We look forward to growing together.
- WombWork Productions, Inc.
- Baltimore Racial Justice Action
- Leaders of a Beautiful Struggle
- Teacher’s Democracy Project
- The National Black Lives Matter Week of Action in our Schools
- Baltimore Ceasefire
- Two Baltimores: The White L vs. the Black Butterfly by Dr. Lawrence Brown
- White people assume niceness is the answer to racial inequality. It’s not.by Robin DiAngelo
- Rethinking Schools: “Racial Justice is not a choice” by Wayne Au
- The Year I Gave Up White Comfort: An Ode to my White “Friends” on Being Better to Black Womxn by Rachel Ricketts
- Filling our Cups: 4 Ways People of Color can Foster Mental Health and Practice Restorative Healing by Threads of Solidarity: WOC Against Racism
- How to Set a Boundary and Survive the Shame and Guilt That Follows by Fat Black Sadistic
Did you catch Arts & Learning Kids! on Channel 77 this weekend? Young Audiences created this cool educational TV show in partnership with City Schools to reinforce what our students are learning remotely through interactive arts-integrated lessons!
Each episode is geared toward one of three grade bands (PreK/K, 1/2, and 3rd-5th Grades), and features a teacher and professional artist co-teaching an arts-integrated math or literacy lesson in-line with the math and literacy work students are currently doing either virtually or via packets. After each episode airs, it is accessible anytime online at yamd.org/kids.
This is not a passive viewing experience! During each episode, students are challenged to explore learning through a variety of art forms. They’ll learn key math concepts using their whole bodies and voices; write and animate their own myths by creating a flip book; learn basic tap steps to help review fractions; engage in storytelling using an actor’s tools; or even solve math problems with shadow puppets!
In the episode “Character Traits Choreography,” students have the opportunity to identify their own character traits and those of important Civil Rights leaders like Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Ruby Bridges. Students will be able to unlock their creativity and communicate those character traits through dance! Learning several elements of dance like frozen poses, levels, shapes and energy, students will not only get to perform the Ruby Bridges choreography, but will be inspired to look for the leaders—particularly those who respond to injustice—in their communities and in themselves, identify character traits of those individuals, and create their own choreography. (This episode is recommended for students in 1st and 2nd Grade)
As a fun bonus, within each episode are two special segments. The “Sweet Stuff Showcase” highlights an engaging and educational digital experience from outside of our own organization. The “Artsplosions” segment features YA artists presenting a cool and quick experience in their art form that often encourages kids to get up and get moving. We are so excited to share Arts & Learning Kids! with you. It really is an AWESOME program and we think that even parents and caregivers will find that it’s super fun to watch. Check it out!