The Arts in Education Program overseen by the Rural Alliance for the Arts brings professional artists into area schools and integrates the arts into the existing school curricula.
AIE Chairperson Jolene Rockwood explains, “Numerous studies have shown that a hands-on approach to education, where children are using all five of their senses in the learning process, develops analytical thinking skills, raises overall intelligence and facilitates a deeper learning experience that goes beyond the traditional ‘read the textbook and give a test’ approach in many educational settings.”
She notes that during the 2012-13 school year, “In addition to the RAA-financed programs, we partially supported several outstanding arts projects that were predominantly funded by other organizations. It is exciting to see that schools in the area are using seed money from RAA to seek additional funding sources and expand their arts in education programs.”
RAA sponsored three AIE projects over the past school year:
Visiting Artist Program
This program exposes over 2,800 schoolchildren at Batesville primary, intermediate, middle and high schools; Oldenburg Academy; and St. Louis School to a wide variety of arts disciplines by resident artists and visiting groups of artists. Each school receives between $2,000 and $7,000 worth of programming based on the student enrollment. The total expense to RAA was about $30,000.
At OA, the theme of an April Fine Arts Day was “Nature and the Fine Arts.” Workshops included woodcarving, flower arranging, making bug prints on styrofoam plates, mudcloth natural dying on T-shirts, designing mini-greenhouses and terrariums, nature in architecture, synesthesia (people who see colors when hearing music), making God’s eyes, nature in poetry, and positive and negative of leaf prints in designing. Cincinnati Ballet Co. dancers presented an assembly and workshops on dance and yoga and Pat Hicks gave a harp performance.
At SLS, students watched African acrobats and a “Macbeth” performance by the Cincinnati Shakespeare Co. for grades 4-8. Cincinnati Arts Association brought three performances: “Chicka Chicka Boom Boom” by Stan Ginn, Anything Goes: Wild Science and Dance of India. Holly Combs presented a street art workshop and Lydia Woodward choreographed spring musical “Mulan.”