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Healing and development from… the arts

This afternoon, The Hub would like to draw your attention to the (positive) effects arts participation has on the human body. Exposure is certainly nice, but we focus specifically today on the actual doing. And before going further, these come by way of NASAA – the National Assembly of State Arts Agencies.


First, dance. Without being overly general, all it takes is a look at a professional dancer to know dance is, at least physically, good for you. But recent data from Australia shows that older adults who participate in dance classes see “increases in physical, cognitive and emotional well-being and as well as a general sense of achievement.” See study here. Closer to home, those diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease can seek symptom relief through participation (there’s that word again) in dance classes from Ballet Spartanburg (right, dancer Charlotte Lanning). The company received the 2018 Elizabeth O’Neill Verner Governor’s Award for the Arts yesterday in part because of offering its community classes like this, which can also help those who have experienced a stroke or disorders like autism, dementia, or multiple sclerosis. Ballet Spartanburg offers the only course of this type in the Upstate, and it's led by Artistic Director Carlos Agudelo. Winifred Walsh, who leads a Parkinson’s support group in Spartanburg, had this to say about the course in her support letter for the company’s Verner Awards nomination:

To receive a diagnosis of Parkinson’s Disease at age 53 is a life-changer ... A friend urged me to join Spartanburg’s PD Support Group and the Dance for PD class offered by Ballet Spartanburg. I went and I was horrified at first look. I thought, ‘I am not like those people!’ But curiosity got the better of me and I stayed and have stayed for some nine years now. And guess what? I am exactly like those people, people with Parkinson’s who are not wasting time on self-pity ... Ballet Spartanburg Artistic Director Carlos Agudelo has set the bar high for our teachers who find joy in our attempts, who rejoice with us in our successes, who laugh with us often ... Outreach seems such a simple term for such complex blessings to me and to others who have movement and balance disorders. We offer gratitude to Ballet Spartanburg for improving our lives through dance, and also through love. We are not merely people with Parkinson’s. Ballet Spartanburg has made us dancers.”

Learn more about the additional benefits of this program by clicking here.
Second, music. The National Endowment for the Arts is talking music training, which is how people get ready for … participation (that’s a hat trick). Two recent articles “find that music education not only strengthens creativity but also improves brain functions related to language development, attention, visuospatial perception, planning and other executive functions, and short-term and working memory.” Music training can be found, almost literally, everywhere. But lessons can be costly, to say nothing of other potential barriers. But four of the professional orchestras the South Carolina Arts Commission helps fund offer the interactive Link Up program from Carnegie Hall Weill Music Institute. Link Up partners orchestras with schools (home, private, and public) or school districts to offer an interactive musical curriculum in schools that teach students lessons in theory and can teach them how to use the recorder. The program usually culminates with a trip to see the professionals perform locally, with a twist: during the Link Up concert, the students can play recorders along with the musicians on stage! The four South Carolina orchestras that offered Link Up concerts during the 2017/2018 school year are the Aiken and Charleston symphonies and South Carolina (Columbia) and Spartanburg philharmonics.

Grant Writing: Tips from a Pro

Arts Education Director Ashley Kerns Brown, a board member for Palmetto State Arts Education, blogged for them about the grant writing process. Can you relate to any of this? I was in graduate school when I wrote my first “big grant” and was so confident I decided to share it with an advisor about 24 hours before it was due. You know, to get a little pat on the back before submitting. So imagine my shock when she called and asked, “Have you submitted this to the University’s Department of Sponsored Research?” Cue record scratch. No. No I had not submitted it to the Department of Sponsored Research. I had no idea what the Department of Sponsored Research was or how it was about to make the next 24 hours one of the biggest learning experiences of my life. What I soon discovered was that our University’s internal process involved approval by the Department Chair (who was out of town) and the Dean (who was out on medical leave), more paperwork than the actual grant itself (including a waiver for biomedical test subjects), and an average processing time of 2-3 weeks. The University recommended submitting grants to the Department of Sponsored Research a full month before it was due, and I had 24 hours. Over those 24 hours I made a lot of people angry, broke a lot of trust, and learned a lot of lessons. Now that I am on the other end of grant making I try to share those and other lessons with teachers and arts organizations. I get how frustrating, confusing, and overwhelming grant writing can be and understand the urge to give up. But I also understand that grants can mean a child experiences the magic of theatre for the first time. They can mean an art teacher acquires the supplies to teach print making to a future designer. Grants can help narrow gaps, improve equity, and be the reason a child holds an instrument in their hands and thinks “I can do this.” Click here to read the full post by Ashley!

Arts Education Project (AEP) grants due next week!

Educators: are you finalizing your AEP (Arts Education Project) Grant applications? The deadline is Tuesday, Jan. 16. UPDATE: The deadline is extended to Monday, Jan. 22. AEP Grants support well-developed arts education programs and projects in both traditional arts education settings (schools, arts organizations) and other organizations that use the arts to advance learning (social service, health, community, education or other organizations). Funded projects and programs can take place in school, after school or over the summer. Grants of up to $15,000 are available (grantees must match their grant 1:1). An AEP Grant would support such programs as:

  • After-school classes
  • Workshops
  • Camps
  • Artist residencies
  • Public art projects
  • Performances
  • Exhibitions
  • Acquisition of critical equipment or supplies
  • Program planning
  • Professional development for instructors, artists and/or administrators
And others, as the list is not exhaustive. Most S.C. schools, nonprofit organizations (arts and non-arts), colleges and universities, and units of government are eligible to apply. Go here to learn more and apply.  

SC Arts Commission seeking Poetry Out Loud coordinator

Application deadline is Aug. 14. The South Carolina Arts Commission is hiring a part-time Poetry Out Loud coordinator to manage and implement the statewide Poetry Out Loud (POL) program and assist with arts education programs. Working under the supervision of the Arts Education Program Director, the POL coordinator plays a vital role in working with national, state, and regional partners, teachers, and students. Duties include not be limited to:

  • Work extensively with Arts Education Program Director, regional, and state partners to administer the Poetry Out Loud program throughout the state;
  • Work with Arts Education Program Director to develop new Poetry Out Loud partnerships;
  • Increase awareness of and participation in the Poetry Out Loud program, specifically in school districts that have not participated in the past three years;
  • Research and implement alternative participation opportunities for students whose schools do not participate in the Poetry Out Loud program;
  • Serve as liaison for participating Poetry Out Loud teachers and notify them of important information related to regional competitions, state finals, national finals, and future dates;
  • Supervise regional partners in the organization and execution of three Poetry Out Loud regional competitions; work with regional partners to ensure all regional partner responsibilities, expectations, and programmatic goals are met; collect final reports from regional partners;
  • Work with Poetry Out Loud fiscal agent to ensure payment is delivered on time to regional partners;
  • Coordinate arts education events, including but not limited to Poetry Out Loud state final competition;
  • Work with Communications Director to develop a Poetry Out Loud marketing plan; write and distribute press releases for events;
  • Manage social media engagement for Poetry Out Loud program;
  • Work with Arts Education Program Director, Communications Director, and Grants Office staff to create grant and program webinars;
  • Coordinate with SCAC Project Team for administrative and/or project assistance in a timely manner;
  • Coordinate with Poetry Out Loud state champion and her/his teacher to ensure s/he registers for National Competition;
  • Coordinate coaching opportunities for Poetry Out Loud regional finalists in preparation for the state finals competition and for state finalist in preparation for the national finals competition;
  • Attend Poetry Out Loud National Finals in Washington, DC as SCAC representative;
  • Prepare required Poetry Out Loud Final Descriptive Report for National Endowment for the Arts;
  • Work with Arts Education Program Director to execute arts education special projects;
  • Other Poetry Out Loud and arts education administrative duties as assigned.
Find the complete application and apply online.

Aiken County Public Schools seeks fine arts coordinator

Aiken County Public Schools is seeking a fine arts coordinator to provide leadership in developing, achieving, and maintaining strong fine arts programs and special projects. Essential duties and responsibilities:

  • Coordinates, facilitates, implements, and evaluates the summer acGateway program, including, but not limited to the following tasks:
    • Assists the Department of Federal Programs with the annual update to the District’s Gifted and Talented Artistic Plan
    • Visits schools to create an awareness and interest in the program
    • Works with school-level coordinators in the application process
    • Sets up the program calendar in accordance with State regulations, including audition and acceptance dates
    • Updates a brochure to inform students and parents of the program
    • Reviews, revises, and updates all application forms
    • Submits all acGateway information to be posted on the District’s website
    • Receives, reviews, and evaluates all student application
    • Sets up audition schedule and secures judges according to the recommendations in the State Regulations and Best Practices Manual
    • Conducts auditions and works with Evaluation and Placement Team to qualify students
    • Notifies students and parents of auditions, acceptance/non-acceptance and program details
    • Interviews and hires teachers
    • Coordinates dates and times of program with acGateway site principal
    • Evaluates the program
    • Submits timesheet/payroll documentation to the acGateway coordinator at conclusion of Program
    • Submits all student information to the Office of Federal Programs for SCDE data submission
    • Meets with Department of Federal Program staff at the conclusion of the acGateway program to debrief concerning program strengths and challenges
  • Assists in the implementation of quality instructional programs throughout the district
  • Determines in-service needs for personnel and assists in organizing professional development
  • Arranges and conducts professional development sessions, as needed
  • Reviews and develops materials to aid in instruction
  • Maintains and supervises an inventory of fine arts materials and equipment and assists in reviewing needs for the district and schools
  • Stays abreast of current curricular and methodology changes in instruction through research and study
  • Meets with department heads, grade chairpersons, or other designated staff members to ensure continuous communication, information distribution, and feedback concerning assigned curriculum responsibility
  • Actively participates in fine arts and special project programs held within the district
  • Actively participates in and facilitates curriculum updates and trainings
  • Assists with the implementation of a community-wide Arts Festival
  • Serves on the District Arts Committee
  • Works with department heads and grade chairpersons to conduct orientation sessions for new fine arts teachers to familiarize them with district guidelines and responsibilities
  • Works collaboratively with Department of Communications to advertise district and school-level special projects and events
  • Performs other duties as may be assigned by the Director of Federal Programs
Education and/or experience: Valid teaching certificate, Masters Degree, five years experience Find the complete list of qualifications and application instructions online.

ABC Project seeks project fields services specialist

Application deadline: June 15 The Arts in Basic Curriculum Project is seeking a project field services specialist. This is a grant-funded position. Reports to: ABC Project director, dean of the College of Visual and Performing Arts, executive director of the South Carolina Arts Commission (SCAC) The ABC Project field services specialist is responsible for providing educational expertise to schools and districts to help them develop and sustain quality, comprehensive, standards-based arts education, and for working extensively with Arts in Basic Curriculum Project director to coordinate all activities of the ABC Project, including ABC task forces, ABC Steering Committee meetings, workshops, presentations and other educational events provided by the ABC Project. Duties include, but are not limited to:

  • Working extensively with ABC director to administer the ABC Project throughout the state.
  • Working with the SCAC, the College of Visual and Performing Arts at Winthrop University, and the S.C State Department of Education (SCDE), to administer the ABC Project throughout the state.
  • Facilitating arts education strategic planning for schools and districts.
  • Coordinating and documenting ABC meetings, conferences, workshops and the Summer Arts Institutes.
  • Preparing reports and collecting statistics.
  • Providing assistance to schools and districts, including arts and arts integration curriculum development, grant writing/information, etc.
  • Serving as liaison to SCAC and SCDE and notifying them of ABC Project participation in conferences, workshops, Summer Arts Institutes, school/district meetings and other ABC activities.
  • Monitoring and identifying new research, policies and initiatives in the arts or that impact the arts.
  • Assisting with Arts Education Leadership Institute (and other ABC Project activities, as needed.)
  • Attending designated conferences to develop professional knowledge and skills.
  • Administrative duties as designated.
Requirements
  • Bachelor’s Degree and teaching or administrative experience with K-12 arts education
  • Understanding of arts integration, classroom instruction, lesson planning
  • Familiarity with National and/or SC Visual and Performing Arts Standards
  • Grant writing experience
  • Excellent time management, research and organization skills
  • Proven ability to communicate effectively with teachers, parents, district staff, community, and all other groups involved in the activities of the job
  • Excellent written, oral communication and interpersonal skills
  • Ability to document meetings and events and complete, process, and maintain required records.
  • Working knowledge of computers and websites
  • Ability to identify effective arts education strategies
  • An ability to work flexible hours, including evenings and weekends, as needed
Employment conditions: This is a full-time, 12-month, grant-funded, salaried position. Salary: approx. $40K commensurate with skills and experience, plus benefits. Position availability: August 1, 2017 Application deadline: June 15, 2017 How to apply: A letter of interest; current curriculum vitae; and the names, addresses, e-mail addresses and telephone numbers of five professional references should be sent to: Ms. Christine Fisher 105 McLaurin Hall Winthrop University Rock Hill, SC 29733; E-mail: fisherc@winthrop.edu Winthrop University is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action employer and does not discriminate against any individual or group of individuals on the basis of age, color, disability, gender, national origin, race, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, or veteran status. Women, minorities, and persons with disabilities are encouraged to apply.

The man of steel: Lancaster artist shaping heavy metal and young artistic minds

Laurens County Visual Arts Coordinator finalist for Teacher of the Year

From GoLaurens.com
Marcia WombleState Superintendent of Education Molly Spearman surprised Gray Court-Owings teacher, Marcia Womble, in her classroom with news that she has been selected as one of five finalists for the South Carolina Teacher of the Year award.
"Marcia is the proud product of Laurens County public schools and is truly devoted to ensuring that her students receive a well-rounded arts infused education," said Superintendent Spearman. "I am so proud of her devotion to arts education and look forward to her continued leadership." Marcia Womble is a Visual Arts teacher at Gray Court-Owings Elementary and Middle School in Laurens County School District 55. She also serves as the District Visual Arts Coordinator. Drawn to teaching at a young age, Womble has opened doors for her students by obtaining several grants to purchase new art media, tools, and sponsorship for her annual Arts Day. During Arts Day, each class visits with different artists, musicians, dancers, authors, and actors. She believes in the power of positivity and starts each class by getting her students to “tell her something good.” ”Marcia Womble is a great example of what today's students need; a great teacher who understands the importance of how to capture, inspire, and teach all of her students in ways that they receive the greatest benefit. She exemplifies the qualities parents desire, principals expect and colleagues emulate. As superintendent of schools in Laurens County 55, I am grateful to be her leader and enjoy working with her to advance the important work assigned to us. Mrs. Womble is one of the best teachers I've had the opportunity to work with in my 37 years in public education,” said Laurens County School District 55 superintendent Dr. Stephen Peters. As one of five finalists, Womble will receive $10,000 and go on to the next stage of competition which involves an in-person interview with a team of expert judges. The South Carolina Teacher of the Year Gala will be held May 3 in Columbia.  The overall winner receives a total of $25,000 and gets to drive a new BMW for one year while advocating for the teaching profession across the state. View photos from Spearman's visit.

Midlands band wins GRAMMY Community Award

Fairfield County School District is an Arts in Basic Curriculum (ABC Project) site. From WLTX Winnsboro, SC (WLTX) -- The Fairfield Central band will not be in Los Angeles for the GRAMMY Awards, but they already won big thanks to the GRAMMY Foundation. Ferdinand Cooper is the band director at Fairfield Central he said, "My father was a band director for 35 years here in South Carolina." "I kind of grew up with it, so it has been a part of life for me ever since I was born basically," said Cooper. He has been at the Fairfield County school for three years. Cooper said, "It is an opportunity for me to take something I love to do and to share it with my students." That love for music is rubbing off on his students too. Sophomore Rebecca Campbell-Hefner said, "It is a really good influence and the band members are like family, so you really have a good support system." "People say band is hard, but it is really not. You've just got to put determination to it and be committed," according to freshman Harrison Kennedy. That commitment from the band members and Cooper paid off in January. The GRAMMY Foundation and the Hot Topic Foundation gave the school $2000 to help the school's band program. Cooper said, "I was kind of shocked actually. I have been doing this for 16 years and this is the first time I have had an opportunity to get an award like this. It was just kind of amazing. I was so thankful to the GRAMMY Foundation for choosing Fairfield Central." Now more students are picking to play in the band, a good problem for Cooper to have. He said, "We are getting more students than we have equipment to actually put them on, so this $2000 can actually help more students to join the band." According to Cooper, "It will go a long way to help us in continuing the great tradition that we have here." The GRAMMY Foundation's GRAMMY Signature Schools Community Award gives financial support to local high school music education programs. Nearly $1.4 million in grants have been given to close to 700 schools in all 50 states.

ABC Project website gets a makeover

ABC-Logo-r2The Arts in Basic Curriculum (ABC) Project website (ABCProjectSC.com) has been transformed with a new design and streamlined content and will now serve as a digital hub for arts education in South Carolina. The new site includes an arts education calendar, a news portal, and resources for current and future ABC sites – schools and districts that receive ABC Advancement grants from the South Carolina Arts Commission. The website also features a directory of all ABC sites that can be sorted by county, district, or grade level. “Schools and districts become ABC sites by going through a rigorous arts strategic planning process to implement standards-based arts curriculum and integrate the arts into daily classroom instruction,” said ABC Project Director Christine Fisher. “The new website will support the work of arts educators and make it easier for parents, business leaders and community members to learn about arts education and ABC sites in their communities.” S.C. Arts Commission Arts Education Director Ashley Brown says the new website will also enhance the ABC Project’s national profile. “South Carolina moved to the frontlines of the national arts education movement by launching the ABC Project in 1987,” says Brown. “We’ve made great strides in 30 years, and now we are focused on the next level of arts education reform. Our goal is to activate the arts to ensure all students gain the vital skills needed for the 21st century, including critical thinking, creativity, and communication. This website will support that goal with quality arts lesson plans, a blog featuring national arts education experts, grants and resources, and professional development videos for educators. The site will serve as a national model for the intersection of arts and technology.” The Arts in Basic Curriculum (ABC) Project provides leadership to achieve quality, comprehensive arts education (which includes creative writing, dance, design, media arts, music, theatre, and visual arts) for all students in South Carolina. The ABC Project is cooperatively directed by the South Carolina Arts Commission, the South Carolina Department of Education and the College of Visual and Performing Arts at Winthrop University. For more information about the ABC Project, visit www.ABCProjectSC.com. For more information about S.C. Arts Commission programs and services, visit www.SouthCarolinaArts.com or call (803) 734-8696.