Educators and Artists Share: Why Arts Integration is ImportantMonday, July 24, 2017

Creative Classroom Collaboratives

On Day 3 of the 2017 Summer Institute, cultural organizations and artists met with the (C3)2 partners to learn about the (C3)2 arts integration project. “Today, you—the project’s teachers and teaching artists—will be teaching our visitors about project, sharing what we’ve done the past three years and why it’s important to you,” explained Laura Reeder, (C3)2 curriculum director. “At the same time, our guests will be sharing what they do.”


For the (C3)2 project’s Year 4, beginning in October, teachers will choose cultural performances for their students. The Institute’s Day 3 session was an opportunity for the teachers to meet new cultural organizations and artists (scroll down for their names and affiliations). The visitors were invited by Loretta Corbisiero, project director, and Lorraine Sopp, project coordinator. The Day 3 session followed Day 1, during which partners reflected on their spring 2017 arts integration projects, and Day 2, in which partners explored and practiced integrating the arts across the curriculum at the Heckscher Museum of Art. 



Creative Classroom Collaboratives


Day 3 began with the school teams polishing and rehearsing presentations about the (C3)2 project, which they’d developed during the Summer Institute’s Day 1. While the school teams practiced, Ms. Reeder met with the visiting cultural organizations and artists in another room.


When the school teams were ready, everyone gathered together again and each school teams presented. One team described the (C3)2 project as a journey…



Another team said the (C3)2 project was about students in action…



Another team emphasized the project's impact on 21st Century learning…



Afterwards, Ms. Reeder asked the guest organizations and artists to react to the team presentations (below).


What is (C3)2 About?


Guest cultural organizations and artists were asked to share what they had learned about the (C3)2 project from the project presentations. Here are some of the things they said…


What Did You Notice?

  • Teachers valuing the arts
  • Students given a safe space to create, to take risks
  • Projects that valued fun in learning 
  • A high level of engagement and investment
  • Evidence of collaboration between teachers and artists

What Are You Curious About?

  • How did the project get started?
  • How did relationships impact artists and educators?
  • How will this work go on after the grant ends?
  • How did teachers and artists navigate obstacles? 


Ms. Reeder than introduced the next activity, which she called "speed planning" or "speed partnering," because it was modelled on "speed dating." Participants took seats on either side of two long tables—artists sat on one side and educators on the other. Participants were given time to interview the person sitting across from them. After a brief period, the educators switched seats and interviewed someone new. The artists and educators exchanged information about their expertise, their thoughts about ideal learning and reality learning for the coming school year, as well as what they saw as the challenges for both ideal and reality learning.




Once the group had conducted a few interviews, participants gathered together and took turns introducing each other, sharing what they had learned during “speed partnering.”


In the afternoon, Ms. Reeder separate all participants into five groups. Each group consisted of a mix teachers from different schools, teaching artists and guest artists. The groups were asked to create a rough outline for an arts-integrated project. The outlines had to address the four components of the (C3)2 project: 

  • The cultural and artistic work
  • Academic curriculum
  • The 4 Cs—creativity, collaboration, communicating and creative thinking
  • The Big idea—that is, the overarching question, generative topic, line of inquiry

Each group was assigned a specific focus for the project. For example, one group had to create a project outline for integrating dance into the science curriculum. Another group created an outline for integrating poetry into the physical education curriculum. “Arts integration isn’t just about art and fun,” Ms. Reeder reminded participants. “It might be about geometry, too.”


The groups brainstormed ideas and then shared them with the whole group.


Creative Classroom Collaboratives  C3 SQUARED


 c3 Creative Classroom Collaboratives


One team (below) was assigned the task of integrating visual arts into the history curriculum created a outline in which students would explore the influence of propaganda posters during World War II. The students would study various persuasive and artistic techniques and then evaluate the success of the political messages in WWII posters, such as one depicting Uncle Sam and another of Rosie the Riveter. Afterwards, the students would create their own propaganda posters and participate in a propaganda parade.




To close the day’s activities, Ms. Reeder asked participants to reflect on what they’d done that day. Answers ranged from “I collaborated with a diverse group of people” and “I went to class on what I do for a living” to “I stepped out of my comfort zone” and “I worked on making a better educational experience for my students.” Ms. Reeder thanked everyone for their reflections and hard work.



Cultural Organizations and Artists


The following is a list of the cultural organizations and artists who were invited to attend Day 3 of the 2017 (C3)2 Summer Institute...


Karen DeMauro, a storyteller with The Actors Center


Kathryn de Bruin and Beth Chiarelli, Dancing Classrooms


Anthony Kershel and Jessica Heins, Kerboom Kidz


Lisa Unander, Long Island Museum


Robin Holder, Neuma International Arts of NY


Maria Loreta Celitan, Sol y Sombra: Flamenco Dance


MaryAnn Scheblein-Dawson, an origami and paper play artist 






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