At Summer Institute, Educators and Artists Explore, DiscoverWednesday, August 22, 2018
The (C3)2 project's 2018 Summer Institute was recently held at the Watermill Center in Southampton, NY. This is the first of a two-part summary of the two-day event.
“If you slow things down, you notice things you hadn't seen before,” according to Robert Wilson, theater director and founder of the Watermill Center. The (C3)2 project team recently hosted its 2018 Summer Institute at the Center. During Day 1 of the two-day event, educators and teaching artists had an opportunity to “slow things down” in order to engage in creative exploration and discovery at the Center.
“The Watermill Center is a laboratory for arts and humanities,” explained Laura Reeder, (C3)2 curriculum director and the Summer Institute’s facilitator, in her welcoming remarks. “If we look at the Center’s website, we find the Center’s mission is to provide a place where visitors have ‘the time, space and freedom to create and inspire.’ During the next two days, that time, space and freedom will allow us to conduct research on something of interests—a theme or problem—and start to develop a presentation or activity in response.”
In the spirit of slowing things down, Ms. Reeder led workshop participants outdoorse for an activity that involved closing of one’s eyes and being mindful of one's breathing and the surrounding sounds. “Let’s put aside what we might have experienced prior to arriving here,” she instructed, “and use our time here to explore, create and inspire.” Afterwards, the group sketched what they had noticed and shared their experience with a partner.
To help the group prepare to work on their “creative research projects,” Ms. Reeder and Loretta Corbisiero, (C3)2 project director, shared some of the key findings of the US Department of Education (C3)2 project, an 8-year arts integration experience. Participants were then given an opportunity to investigate the project’s many arts integrated units of study reported on the (C3)2 website.
Next, Andrea Cote, Education Program Coordinator at the Center, gave the group a tour of the Center. The Center serves as a supportive environment for artists to explore their art and develop as professionals. The tour began with the grounds, which have been beautifully landscaped under Robert Wilson’s direction. The gardens, sculptures and wooded areas provide both artistic inspiration and a place for artists to perform or exhibit their work.
Inside the Center, the workshop participants were led through spaces used by visiting artists to live and develop creative works. .
The Center also houses a research library and an archive of Robert Wilson’s personal art collection.
At the end of the tour, participants were asked to explore the grounds on their own and look for inspiration. “During this time, I would ask that you relax, explore and discover an area of interest for your ‘creative research project.’” Afterwards, participants worked either individually or with a partner to define a project they would start to develop on Day 2 of the Institute.
To read about Day 2 of the 2018 Summer Institute, go to the Day 2 summary.
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