The Batesville Area Arts Council Arts in Education Program “brings professional artists into the area schools and integrates the arts into the existing school curricula,” board member Jolene Rockwood told about 75 attendees at the organization’s annual meeting Aug. 27. For the past year, she has co-chaired AIE with Denise Hillenbrand.
The AIE report noted, “Numerous studies which 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.”
It is one of the best-kept secrets in the community. Since 1988, the nonprofit has spent almost $1 million on AIE in six public and private schools.
Rockwood detailed exciting trends started by AIE. Several outstanding arts projects happened due to collaboration. Schools are using “seed money” from BAAC to seek additional funding sources and expand their AIE programs. For examples, AIE dollars plus Joan and John Hillenbrand Vision Fund for Innovation grants helped St. Louis School teacher Samantha Giesting purchase “To Kill a Mockingbird” books for her students to read and enabled Batesville Primary School students to have a grand Chinese New Year Celebration with giant dragon puppet and lots of arts, language and history tie-ins.
In addition, “We are very pleased that the schools have chosen to “give back” to the BAAC and the community.” Teachers and students donate time and arts items to the organization’s annual auction. Some work on sets and scenery and help with entertainment for BAAC events. Teachers and administrators serve on BAAC committees and its board of directors.
Each year the Arts in Education Program has three initiatives:
Visiting Artist Program
This program exposes children to a wide variety of arts disciplines by resident artists and visiting groups of artists, musicians, dancers, writers, actors and others who visit and work with students and teachers within the existing curricula. Last year BAAC spent $41,700 to bring in 67 artists and groups, and 2,767 students participated at Batesville primary, intermediate, middle and high schools; Oldenburg Academy; and St. Louis School. About one-third of the artists visited multiple schools.
Each school received between $3,150 and $10,650 worth of programming based on the enrollment of students in the school. BAAC allotted $15 per student.
Among the many activities:
Batesville Primary School — artist Vicky Murphy helped students create a huge butterfly mosaic in the hall; 4th Wall, an Arts for Learning interdisciplinary hybrid arts group, explored the science of sound; “Showdown at Resource Ranch” was presented by the National Children’s Theatre and Duke Energy; Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park actors performed “Five Little Monkeys” with before and after workshops; Tap Team Two dance team of Arts for Learning entertained with “Hoofing in America”
Batesville Intermediate School — Robin McBride Scott of Arts for Learning presented “Gifts from the Earth: Native American Effigy Pottery”; Cincinnati Arts Association presented “Wild Science — Method Madness: The Magic of the Scientific Method”; storyteller and musher Karen Land and her dog Noggin educated third-graders about Alaska’s Iditarod; Children’s Theater of Cincinnati on Tour presented “Rosa Parks” and “Rumpelstiltskin” for students in different grades, including moderately handicapped children; U.S. Air Force Mid-America Band returned to Batesville a second year, against their guidelines, because of the warm response the band got the first time
Batesville Middle School — local sculptor Chaz Kaiser helped students make copper, wood and stained-glass lanterns; Barb and Russ Childers discussed Appalachian story quilts and helped students produce a fabric collage quilt for the BAAC auction; Miami University clinicians Chris Tanner and Jimmie Finnie led steel drum workshops, which helped drumming and xylophone students perform Nov. 8, 2018, at the BMS PTSO dinner; Jan. 19 at the PAS Rhythm Discovery Center, Indianapolis, and Feb. 9 at the PAX Day of Percussion at Indiana State University
Batesville High School — Holly Bryan and Kelsey Huffner worked with art students to produce intricate paper sculptures, ceramic 3D letters and sculpture additive themes; two Deaf Institute instructors taught songs in sign language to the BHS sign language class; German vocalist Amanda Russo Stante and composer/accompanist James Loughery introduced German students to German vocal literature, composers and poets; Paella at Your Place LLC taught Spanish culture through food to Spanish students; Theresa Ann Davis taught 2D art students how to create photo collages; local experts taught Zumba, yoga to PE classes; PiYo (Pilates and yoga) to PE students
St. Louis School — artist Andrea Grimsley helped students finish mosaics to celebrate St. Louis Church’s 150th anniversary; local artist Diane Brunsman taught students “Texture, Design and Color” and started a two-year paper Marian mosaic project; mime Reed Steele of Arts for Learning taught “Masks, Mime and Imagination” to all students; dancer and SLS graduate Lizzy Moeller helped students choreograph school musical “Godspell”; author John David Anderson, a Young Hoosier Book Award nominee for “Mrs. Bixby’s Last Day,” gave writing advice; famous children’s author Barbara Rosenstock enthralled
Oldenburg Academy — author Lylanne Musselman of Midwest Writers’ Workshop helped students write poems; CBS videographer Scot Miller gave insights and encouragement to student photographers and videographers; students viewed “The Notes Rose up in Flames,” an 11-panel traveling exhibit on the way music was present in Holocaust concentration camps; Los Angeles composer Darryl Johnson II worked with orchestra students and composed a piece for them to debut at the spring concert; Cincinnati Observatory on Earth and Science astronomer Dean Regas taught students how ancient cave art, architecture and astronomy affected lives of ancient peoples
Young Artist Showcase
The Young Artist Showcase, established in 1992, is a program that recognizes students in grades 6-12 who excel in the areas of art, music, writing, dance, video and drama. Professional judges are enlisted to judge the entries in each discipline, and trophies and ribbons are awarded to the winners at each school’s end-of-year awards program along with the sports and academic awards that are traditionally given. Trophy-winning students also have their names placed on a plaque at each school.
Last year BAAC awarded 121 trophies and ribbons. Students from BMS, BHS, OA and SLS, home-schooled students, and students who are BAAC members, but live outside the Batesville Community School Corp. boundaries look forward to participating in the competitions each year.
The idea behind the Evening Series program was to bring in some of the wonderful artists sponsored in the schools during the day and offer night workshops or performances for parents and community members. Last year there was one program. A March 11 World Music Concert, organized by teacher Alex Branstetter, featured the BHS and BMS Steel Drum Group and Miami University Steel Drum Ensemble.
Who made it happen
Special thanks to:
• BAAC AIE Committee co-chairpersons Denise Hillenbrand and Jolene Rockwood and members Kyle Hunteman, Mary K. Cambron, Andrea Grimsley, Josiah Keith, Paul Satchwill, Lynne DiMuzio, Alec Branstetter, Rachel Quillian, Anne Amrhein, Olivia Harms, Kari Kinsey, Rachael Berkemeier, Laura Gilland, Lori Spears, Kris Wampler, Mary Gehring, Theresa Murphy, Betty Frey and Christy Pedersen; Young Artist Showcase chairman Laura Gilland and YAS committee members;Evening Series coordinator Anne Amrhein;
• BCSC superintendent Paul Ketcham; OA President Diane Laake; school principals: Andy Allen, BHS; Dave Strouse, BMS; Dana Cassidy, BIS; Brad Stoneking, BPS; Chad Moeller, SLS; Brian McFee, OA; and school secretaries
• BAAC expresses gratitude to the organizations that help fund AIE programs: Joan and John Hillenbrand Vision Fund for Innovation, Rockwood Family Foundation, John A. Hillenbrand Foundation, Indiana Arts Commission, Columbus Area Arts Council, PTO funds from the schools involved and Batesville Community School Corp.
• In addition, BAAC leaders thank organizations that have supported its programs: city of Batesville, Rising Sun Regional Foundation, Franklin County Community Foundation, Hillrom, Hillenbrand Inc., Batesville Community Education Foundation and Ripley County Community Foundation.