PARENT / CHILD WORKSHOPS
These Doing Art Together workshops are unique. A child attends with a parent, grandparent, special caring adult or caregiver. All participants work on the art projects separately at their own individual level. Using imagination, observation and problem solving skills, the children and adults experiment with materials and tools, making discoveries and expressing their ideas and feelings through paintings, clay sculpture, collage projects and in many other media.
The Doing Art Together philosophy of art education emphasizes process. The classes are “hands-on,” exciting experiences for both children and adults. New communication between the adult and child results from sharing creative experiences in this non-judgmental, fully supportive environment. The Doing Art Together approach has also improved and reinforced the visual, verbal and conceptual skills of children. All programs begin with an orientation for the parents or adults who accompany the child in the workshops.
Parent / Child workshops can be arranged to take place after school and on Saturdays in public schools and social service agencies.
Doing Art Together has been selected by several elementary public schools to receive “Parents as Partners” grants from the Center for Arts Education in support of Saturday morning Parent / Child workshops in their schools.
HANDS-ON ART WORKSHOP PROGRAMS
In Doing Art Together hands-on art workshops, classes work with materials and processes that may include painting, collage, drawing, clay, masks, wood, recycled and found materials, assemblage and construction, puppets, papier mache and murals. All programs begin with an orientation for teachers, parents, and administrators.
Doing Art Together sends art instructors to sites with all art materials. Our instructors, who are culturally diverse and often bilingual, present innovative, sequential art education programs that last from six to twenty-four weeks. They collaborate with classroom teachers to develop meaningful projects that integrate school curriculum and meet developmental needs of students.
Students learn the non-verbal visual language of art — color, shape, line, form, pattern and texture. They also discuss reproductions of works of art. Classroom teachers actively participate in all art processes along with their students.
Each program includes a class visit to a major art museum during which students make connections between their own works and those made by artists from different cultures throughout history.
At the conclusion of each Doing Art Together program, an exhibition is held that includes work by all children and adults who participated.
STAFF DEVELOPMENT WORKSHOPS
Doing Art Together provides professional development workshops for teachers and administrators. The purpose of Staff Development in schools is to educate and enable teachers and para-professionals to better understand the set-up, process and significance of visual arts lessons. Working with teachers, Doing Art Together transforms the average classroom into a working art studio. Through this experience teachers have an opportunity to see how manageable art lessons can be.
Each Staff Development session begins with a demonstration of an art process. Visual art examples are shown and classroom teachers learn about various artists they can introduce into their curriculum, including artists from Latin America, Europe and Asia. Classroom teachers gain a greater sense of how to demonstrate activities and create exciting projects by using examples by artists. And by participating themselves during a hands-on session, they learn through the process and are therefore better able to instruct.
Given time to be students themselves, teachers create their own artwork. During this time many ways to motivate students are introduced. Different lessons, which include collage, painting, and working with clay, are discussed and teachers are given advice on how to discuss processes of doing art and better understand their own students.
Staff Development sessions conclude with time for questions and answers and teachers have a chance to discuss artwork created that day. In addition, classroom teachers learn about the best supplies for lessons, where to acquire them, and how to properly introduce the uses of tools and materials.
These workshops and seminars strengthen the understanding of Doing Art Together’s philosophy and methods, introduce participants to new ideas and enrich interactions between art instructors, classroom teachers, administrators and students. This component extends the impact of Doing Art Together’s educational values to a broader community.
PARENT WORKSHOPS AND PTA PROGRAMS
Morning, evening and Saturday parent workshops are offered in school settings. Parents find these art workshops enriching and often discover that art experiences help to open dialogue between themselves and their child. Parents become comfortable with the art process and encourage their children to do similar activities at home.
Creative EDGE (EDucational Growth Experience)
This very special program is akin to an art and architecture day camp. During walking tours, visits to New York City landmarks and museums and in related hands-on art workshop sessions, students are introduced to aspects of design, architecture and city planning. They acquire social skills, spending full days and having lunch with Doing Art Together staff, board and junior committee members, architects, designers and arts professional role models.
Students gain competencies and life skills by participating in these activities. That includes making new friends, forming new ideas, and learning new vocabulary words, history, map reading, measuring, observing, drawing, planning, concentrating and completing complex tasks. They develop verbal and artistic communication, gain self-confidence, learn that they are part of the community and that they too can contribute to their community.
The program provides youngsters with personal, academic and career development options. These experiences bridge learning gaps and prepare these students to be more successful in school.
One of our 3-day programs for foster teens featured learning about and visiting major New York City water fountains and making a ceramic desk-top water fountain. Another program featured mosaics in New York City, including both 100 year-old original mosaics and mosaic by contemporary artists in subway stations. Students then designed and made their own work in mosaic tiles. They also visited architectural mosaic designers in their working studio. Another two-day session featured gargoyles and grotesques on buildings.
We conveniently schedule these special Doing Art & Architecture Together programs on holidays, during public school breaks and during the summer.
Creative CABLE (Careers and Arts Based Learning Exploration)
Doing Art Together offers a unique series of hands-on art workshops specifically designed for students studying to pass GED (General Educational Development) examinations. We select New York City arts professionals who work in various fields and collaborate with GED teachers to design skill-based hands-on workshops that integrate GED subject matter and introduce students to career opportunities.
Our goal is to improve students’ visual literacy skills, knowledge, and life skills to help them pass the four academic subjects — math, science, social studies and language arts — that are tested in national GED examinations. Linda Brown, GED Science teacher writes: “Your lessons have integrated beautifully with the lessons contained in the GED preparatory books.” Rosa Marinez, a Spanish GED teacher writes: “These workshops were supplemented by fantastic trips, to the delight of my students, from the Queens Art Museum, where we marveled at the Panorama of New York, to the American Museum of Natural History, where we saw “Tropical Butterflies Alive in Winter,” to the Planetarium, where we made full use of the space show “Passport to the Universe.” You managed to fully captivate the attention and the interest of all my students, challenging and adding to their world view.”
Many young adults who have dropped out of high school take GED preparation classes at various locations throughout the nation. Doing Art Together is offering two hands-on art workshop programs in GED Plus alternative high school programs in Bronx Regional High School and at Phipps West Farms Career Center, Youth Fair Chance, also located in the Bronx.
Upon passing GED tests, students receive a certificate equivalent to a high school diploma. The American Council for Education reports that GED graduates become eligible for the same opportunities and salaries that high school graduates receive.
Doing Art Together GED students have had the opportunity to work with professionals and learn some basic skills used in set design, interior design, landscape architecture, paper making, book making, carpentry, sculpture, origami, map making, botanical illustration, video interview and production techniques, museum exhibit installation, graphic design, drawing, painting and matting and framing works of art.
We are most grateful to the Deutsche Bank Americas Foundation who funded our pilot initiative. We also thank District 79 GED Plus administrators in the NYC Department of Education who are working with us in the Bronx.