Tag Archives: art teachers

Make an art teacher’s day!

Small gifts of time, talent or financial resources can make a big difference in school arts programs — especially when we all pitch in. Enjoy supporting  arts learning at your child’s school in one or more of the following ways:

Research, plan and/or chaperone for arts-related field trips

"Kate's Flower" by Kate M., Age 5

Volunteer to create/install bulletin boards or other exhibit spaces

Donate arts-related books or other media materials to the school library

Attend school arts performances — even when your child is not performing

Pay (or offer to simply do the shopping) for arts-related supplies

Invite friends, family and neighbors to school art exhibits and performances

Share information on arts events and organizations happening in the community with school art teachers

Volunteer to assist with art projects in the classroom (and school clubs)

Donate funds dedicated to professional development for arts teachers

"Lion's Heart" by Gabriel C., Age 7

Volunteer to plan, coordinate and/or execute art exhibits and other events

Suggest community partnerships that might benefit schools and businesses/other organizations

Donate arts-related items you’re no longer using at home (such as musical instruments)

Offer to fund an arts-related field tip to visit a museum or see a theater, dance or music performance

Talk to art students about your own arts-related interests, hobbies or career

"Shy Bear" by Isaiah G., Age 7

Donate art storage items such as cabinets, shelves and crates

Volunteer time to sew costumes, paint sets and more

Stay informed about arts education issues and let legislators know the arts matter in our schools

Support creative play at home with time, space and materials for making visual art, theater and more

Give arts-related gifts such as subscriptions to arts magazines dealing with teacher areas of interest

Help arts teachers develop and share their wish lists of needed materials

Photograph student art to display on the school website

"Happy Flower" by Eilene, Age 12

Volunteer to read arts-related books during storytimes

Share interesting articles you come across about arts news, education, policy and more

Donate gift cards teachers can use at art supply stores

Collect supplies arts teachers are looking for (such as newspapers for paper mache)

Volunteer to arrange guest speakers/guest performers in the arts

Let administrators and board members know you value arts education

"Cutout Snowflake" by Toby M., Age 7

When in doubt, just ask. And remember to thank and compliment your child’s art teachers when you admire their work. Encouragement and appreciation can be the finest gifts of all.


Note: If you’re an arts teacher or parent with other ideas and suggestions on supporting school arts programs, please share them with fellow readers in the comment section below

Coming up: Arts camps for fall/winter break

Artwork featured in this post is from the PCH Kids Art collection, available through Phoenix Children’s Hospital at www.pchkidsart.com. The collection includes art prints, all occasion cards, holiday cards and more — with proceeds benefiting the PCH Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders.


Art news you can use

Jennifer Campbell piece from Artlink Heritage Square Gallery

If you’re a parent, you’re an arts educator. And a literacy specialist. And a P.E. coach. And a math tutor. And more.

So how can you stay abreast of arts news and opportunities that may impact your child’s arts experiences inside and outside of the classroom?

Check out the online newsletter from the arts learning department at the Arizona Commission on the Arts–which simply and succinctly shares news of interest to both parents and professional arts educators.

Art can get overlooked in the classroom for many reasons. Sometimes teachers don’t understand the intrinsic value of arts or its benefits to enhancing skill and understanding in other academic subjects.

Christine Mesiti work from Artlink Heritage Square Gallery

Sometimes teachers feel intimidated by the arts. Often they simply don’t have the resources of time or money to invest in arts-related activities.

A well-informed and genuinely interested parent can prove an invaluable support for teachers who have the will, but not the way, to foster student arts experiences. And the arts learning newsletter is a great way to stay informed.

Here’s just a brief sampling of the ideas and opportunities noted in the latest issue…

Tara Logsdon work from Artlink Heritage Square Gallery

Arts learning programs

Poetry Out Loud is a national poetry recitation contest open to all Arizona students in grades 9-12. Participating teachers receive free materials and participating students are eligible for scholarship opportunities. Schools can register on or after Aug 16.

Arts learning professional development

Mary Jenae Sanchez work from Artlink Heritage Square Gallery

The 21st Century Skills Map provides teachers with educator-created examples of how to fuse a broad range of arts (dance, music, theater, visual and media arts) with other areas to promote student knowledge and skills essential to the 21st century workforce.

Arts advocacy

Initial legislation passed at the sub-committee level on July 15 approved level funding ($40 million) for the U.S. Department of Arts in Education (part of the U.S. Department of Education).

Angelica Jubran-Bishara work from Artlink Heritage Square Gallery

Also in July, the U.S. House of Representatives passed legislation designating the second week of September as “Arts in Education Week“–which is the first Congressional expression of support for all disciplines comprising arts education.

Funding opportunities

Online letter of inquiry applications to the MAP Fund–which provides project-specific funds to playwrights, choreographers, directors, performers and composers experimenting in any performance tradition or discipline–will be available starting Sept 15.

Jennifer Campbell work from Artlink Heritage Square Gallery

The letter of intent deadline for the Surdna Arts Teachers Fellowship program, a national initiative to revitalize outstanding art teachers, is Nov 12. Eligibility guidelines allow arts teachers working in specialized public arts high schools and arts-focused magnet and charter schools to apply.

Art exhibit opportunities

The Artlink Heritage Square Gallery is seeking a wide variety of visual media from high school students across the country to display in their first ever group show in November. Submission deadline is Sept 3.

Christine Messiti work from Artlink Heritage Square Gallery

The statewide Faces of Afterschool art project is seeking self-portraits for possible exhibition at the Children’s Museum of Phoenix as part of national Lights Out Afterschool. Deadline is Aug 30.

These are just a few of the tidbits I found in the latest online newsletter of the arts learning department at the Arizona Commission on the Arts.

It also features information on arts-related research and reports, arts-related conferences, exhibition opportunities for student-related outreach programs and more–with links you can follow to learn more or get involved. Click here to read it yourself.

Jennifer Campbell work from Artlink Heritage Square Gallery

Special thanks to Mandy Buscas, Arts Learning Director, and Alex Nelson, Arts Learning Coordinator, for helping us all stay up to date on the latest and greatest arts learning news in Arizona.

And thanks to all you parents who support your local arts teachers with gifts of time, talent, information and advocacy. Together we’re assuring that America keeps art in its heart.


Note: Artwork photos are from the Artlink Heritage Gallery WordPress blog at www.artlinkhsgallery.wordpress.com. Click here to subscribe to the arts learning newsletter and/or other publications from the Arizona Commission on the Arts.

Coming up: Where art meets civics, Valley theaters launch seasons with exciting show selections, Arizona performers dance their way to the Radio City Rockettes, Finding fall arts classes

Once upon a blog

My husband James asked me early on whether I worried I might run out of topics if I posted a piece every day. But 200 posts later, I’ve only begun to tackle the depth and breadth of the Valley’s arts scene.

The challenge has never been finding things to write about. Instead, it’s learning to let go when what I call ‘those pesky limits of time and space’ prevent me from tackling everything that interests me.

Along the way I’ve had to make some tough choices.

Sometimes they’re driven by guidelines I’ve set for myself along the way—such as balancing coverage of arts that appeal to children and arts that appeal to adults (which are sometimes one and the same), and balancing coverage of various art forms (dance, film, music, theater, visual arts and more).

Other times they’re driven by pure practicality—such as what shows I have time to hit along my weekend “teen taxi” route, or how much time I have to research a topic between dinnertime and laundry duty.

Sometimes serendipity strikes—like the day I happened upon the brother of a friend playing for patients at Mayo Clinic in Scottsdale. These are among my favorites, because the words tend to flow rather than feeling forced.

At times events fall neatly into themes like nature or social justice—or tie into interesting news of the day (which may or may not be directly arts-related). Some days the topics just fall into my lap—which is the case for much of this week, given that my ‘in box’ is full of dance and youth theater alerts.

Careful readers likely see certain themes running throughout my posts—the importance of active citizenship, my commitment to mental health advocacy, the joy and value of family together time, my children’s own experiences with the arts.

Topics I feel most strongly about sometimes rise to the top of my ‘to do’ pile before those with less of a heart tug. Still, you have yet to read detailed posts about some of the things I find most intriguing—because these are the topics I find most intimidating.

If I’ve interviewed you about something you have yet to see posted, chances are that I think you’re a genius and have yet to wrap my head around your insights. I’ll get there, and your patience is always appreciated.

Whatever the topic, I’m a passionate pursuer of the positive. There’s plenty of the other stuff out there. With just 500 or so words to share each day, each one needs to count—and I’d much rather educate or elevate than focus on flaws.

Sometimes I’m surprised, for better or worse, by the traffic any given post generates. Who knew, for example, that Shakespeare’s Richard III was such a hot topic? It’s especially gratifying when posts, including those on gift ideas for young artists and creating an art-friendly home, remain popular over time.

So what can you expect from the next 100 posts—and beyond? Fun ideas for enjoying the arts with your family and friends. News of funky arts experiences you might not encounter otherwise. Tips from seasoned artist and opportunities for budding ones.

Art is always a give and take. Let me know what interests you. There may just be “a post for that.”


Note: For more art-related buttons, magnets, bumper stickers, pins and more, visit www.cafepress.com or your local museum gift shop

Coming up: Diverse dance events around the Valley, What’s playing in children’s theater, Enjoying the Tony Awards at ASU Gammage

Today’s tidbits: Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts presents their final “Talk Cinema” film (with post-film discussion) of the current series tonight (May 11) at 7pm at the Virginia G. Piper Theater. $20/non-members. $18/members. $10/students with I.D. (limited availability). Info at http://www.scottsdaleperformingarts.org or 480-994-2787, ext. 2.