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Category Archives: Featured

Arts Ed NJ’s THE BEAT. January 2018

ARTS ED NJ RELEASES  TITLE I SUPPORT WEBSITE FOR SCHOOL LEADERS and so much more…

Committee Member Spotlight with Lora Marie Durr AENJ

AENJ has been busy planning events for NJ’s art educators!

January 20, 2018, is our annual Breakfast and Workshop at Middletown Arts Center, showcasing 2017 division award winners lessons.

Alicia Bynoe, Liberty Corner Elementary School will share a lesson on Brianna McCarthy inspired portraits.

Larissa Danowitz, Overbrook High School will share a lesson on Adinkra symbols.

Morgan Devlin, Ocean Township High School will share a lesson utilizing the art elements and principles of design to create paper sculptures.

On January 20, AENJ will host their first “Emerging Leaders Summit” at Middletown Arts Center to provide information on AENJ leadership opportunities. If you are interested in joining us, contact AENJ President, Dr. Jane Graziano at jgraziano@aenj.org.

In February, AENJ will sponsor an event at the Montclair Art Museum featuring the work of Kay Walkingstick. For this and all upcoming professional development opportunities visit our website: www.aenj.org/event/.

New to our website, is the Members’ Spotlight! Our first member to receive recognition is Maria Francisco of PS23 in Jersey City. To learn more about Maria or to nominate an AENJ member who deserves recognition, visit http://aenj.org/advocacy-learning/members-spotlight/.

AENJ proudly announces 2018’s Youth Art Month Design Contest winners:

  • Shubhika Sethi, Grade 8, Washington Middle School, Harrison School District, Hudson County 

  • Ying Chow, Grade 5, Sherman Elementary School, Roselle Park School District, Union County 

  • Irving Adame, Grade 12, Haddon Township High School, Haddon Township School District, Camden County 

  • Emily Mah, Grade 12, Lawrence High School, Lawrence Township School District, Mercer County

  • Kirsten Ehrenberg, Grade 5, Long Pond School, Andover School District, Sussex County 

  • Nathalie Whitehead-Nudd, Grade 8, Union Township Middle School, North Hunterdon School District, Hunterdon County 

  • Daniel Hill, Grade 7, Glenfield Middle School, Montclair School District, Essex County 

This year, Sargent Art provided generous prizes for these students and their art teachers! Join us March 9 for a reception honoring YAM artists at the NJ Statehouse, Trenton. To get involved with YAM visit http://aenj.org/yam/ or contact yam@aenj.org.

Lora Marie Durr
AENJ Advisory Council Chair
AENJ Interim Communications Chair
2016 AENJ Middle Division Art Educator Award
2018 NAEA Eastern Region Middle Level Art Educator Award

Guest Blog with Miss Atlantic Shores 2018

For as long as I can remember, I have been involved in the arts. A comprehensive arts education was at the center of my young life. I grew up at the Surflight Theatre in Beach Haven, and every day was a new adventure. I took private lessons in dance and music, and eventually went to the OCVTS Performing Arts Academy, which is an arts high school made available to high school students in Ocean County. Throughout my academic career, I maintained a 4.0 average, was able to take all advanced classes in middle and high school, and get involved in various extracurricular activities. I graduated high school with 160 credits, when the New Jersey standard is 120 credits. Currently, I have the privilege of serving New Jersey as Miss Atlantic Shores, which is a title in the Miss America Organization.

Throughout my year of service, I have been promoting the importance of arts education, and how it can shape a child into a well-rounded member of the world. I have spoken at schools and public events, empowering children and young adults with their personal power, and how they can grow that power through the arts. I aim to be a role model for children who want to get involved in the arts, but may be afraid of trying something new. Access to the arts can supplement a traditional academic curriculum, and studies have shown that children who participate in an artistic class or club have scored higher on standardized testing. More than that, though, the arts encourage children to express themselves. Young people yearn to have a voice, and an artistic outlet can help them discover that voice. The world we are creating is creative and forward-thinking, and we need strong, impassioned individuals who will make a change. That confidence and drive is garnered at a young age, and I have seen firsthand how the arts can help foster that confidence.

 

 

I strive to be the example that an arts education can help you leaps and bounds, regardless of whether or not you continue into an arts related occupation. My goal is to show young people that armed with an arts education, they will realize how powerful they really are. I truly believe that once involved in the arts, you can achieve anything you set your mind to. The world is at your fingertips, you have to decide when you’re ready to take it.

 

Guest Blog by Christa Steiner is, first and foremost, a Jersey girl! Born and raised in Beach Haven, she is a member of the inaugural Musical Theatre Program at the prestigious Manhattan School of Music in New York City. She has performed with Kristin Chenoweth, Norm Lewis, and most recently, with Megan Hilty at Carnegie Hall. She is the Manager of the Show Place Ice Cream Parlour in Beach Haven, as well as the Social Media Director of Surflight Theatre. She currently holds the title of Miss Atlantic Shores 2018, and uses her title to promote the importance of arts education with her platform, ART for smART. She will be competing for the title of Miss New Jersey 2018 in June.

 

ARTS ED NJ RELEASES TITLE I SUPPORT WEBSITE FOR SCHOOL LEADERS

New Resource Demonstrates the Use of Arts Education to Achieve Title I Goals

This month Arts Ed NJ, in cooperation with the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, the New Jersey Department of Education, and New Jersey’s Foundation for Educational Administration, launched an interactive website devoted to demonstrating how arts education has been embraced as an effective strategy for achieving the goals of Title I. By featuring successful models and examples, the website, NewJerseyTitle1arts.org, is designed to be a statewide resource for districts in New Jersey seeking to learn more about how to harness the power arts education.

The launch of the website makes it easier for district leaders to identify how the benefits of arts education are compatible with Title I programs and explore the ways that arts programming can be designed to improve educational outcomes. Arts strategies have been utilized to address the four pillars of Title I: Student Learning and Mastery; School Climate and Culture; Student Engagement; and Family and Community Engagement. Making connections between Title I goals and arts learning clear, and more accessible to all via the website increases the likelihood of statewide impact. Every page identifies resources to assist administrators and teachers with critical steps throughout the stages of planning, implementation, and assessment that lead to student success.

“This innovative website will provide New Jersey educators with the research, resources and best practices to demonstrate the strength of arts in supporting Title I goals, remarked Dr. Mary Reece, Director of Special Projects at New Jersey’s Foundation for Educational Administration.

With growing research and case studies demonstrating how arts integration has been instrumental in achieving Title I goals, New Jersey has reached an inflection point. This is consistent with states such as California and Arizona, who have also pioneered the use of arts education as a strategy for achieving Title I goals. New Jersey now joins with these states as the development of successful models continues across the United States.

NewJerseyTitle1arts.org is a project of Arts Ed NJ—the unifying organization and central resource for arts education information, policy and advocacy in New Jersey and was funded by a grant from the Hyde and Watson Foundation.

The site was developed in collaboration with the California Alliance for Arts Education, now in its fifth decade of working to build a brighter future for the state by making the arts a core part of every child’s education.

The Beat: Arts Ed NJ’s Monthly Newsletter – December

A Farewell to Kris Wenger

Blog: Spotlight on Dance Education in Elizabeth NJ Alyssa Fisher Dance Teacher EPS William F. Halloran #22


I am so proud to be part of a district that is making such strides in providing a comprehensive dance education by professional, highly qualified dance teachers. We have such an amazing team and we continue to grow!  I am so lucky to work for a district that supports the arts, especially dance.” (Amanda J. Camp-Colon EPS High School Dance Teacher)

Every New Jersey student deserves the right to a high-quality dance education that is innovative and supportive.

In order to succeed in today’s competitive work force an education in dance is crucial in order to think collectively, creatively and confidently; all desirable characteristics for future employers.

Elizabeth Public Schools is making tremendous progress in providing quality dance education to all pre-k through 12th grade students, but sadly it is one of the few schools in the state that offers such programming. Elizabeth Public Schools hired its first dance educator in 1995 and has since grown its department to consist of 9 resourceful, passionate and highly qualified dance educators. That kind of substantial growth can only flourish under supportive leadership.

“As a school principal, I greatly support the arts for my own children, as well as my students!  In urban areas, this is even more important to provide these crucial opportunities for our students to tap into their inner potential!” (Principal Chihui Alfaro – EPS Principal).

The dance educators of Elizabeth are very fortunate to be in a position where they have such fantastic administrative support in which they can advocate for their programs.

“I first met Dennis Argul (EPS Supervisor of Music) at the New Jersey Music Administrator’s Association meeting in December 2016. At that meeting I gave a presentation about New Jersey’s mandate for providing K-12 dance to every child in every school. During the discussion portion, one of the attendees asked “Who is responsible for making sure the mandate is met?” After a short silence, Dennis Argul stood up and stated: “It is our job as Arts Coordinators. We are the leaders who should be helping to make this happen.” Since that time, I have found Mr. Argul to be taking numerous measures to make good on his responsibility. He is one of the most important advocates for dance education in this state — and a champion for ensuring equity in education for all children.” (Barbara Bashaw, President Dance New Jersey.)

10 Hairy Legs Executive Director Elizabeth Shaff Sobo noted, “We are pleased to return to Elizabeth Public Schools to provide Dance to Learn to all 2nd grade students at Jerome Dunn Academy #9. We greatly applaud that they embrace the value of creative learning through dance as an important component of their students’ academic growth. Having a knowledgable, enthusiastic and capable partner is essential to arts learning. Each time our Teaching Artists walk into the building they are greeted by faculty and staff with open arms and it is clear the students are eager to participate. This starts at the top with the tremendous leadership of Dennis Argul and his belief that every single student can excel and will. We are so pleased to be providing a fresh perspective to these young minds and bodies. Education is an important part of our work, and we are thrilled to be sharing the expertise and artistry with the Elizabeth community.”

In addition to these efforts, Elizabeth Public Schools supports professional dance companies by brining in residence artists such as 10 Hairy Legs to implement educational programming. It is through this sort of dedication and forward thinking that has made Elizabeth Public Schools such a nurturing, creative and most of all successful learning environment for its students.

Arts education. New buzz word or New approach? By: Tiffany Festa-Sneddon

Sixty percent of students reported being bored and disconnected in school. Why? How can we find better and creative ways to reach all learners? Arts education and arts integration help lead the path to reach all learners. Arts Ed touches that child who may be struggling academically, although, may be able to play an instrument or sing like a pro. The positive reinforcement used in that class may help that struggling student find success in school and beyond. Reaching students beyond the core classes engages all learners on various planes and intelligences. The arts are the missing link in education. The link that helps students make connections in different ways, using various parts of their brain. If that teacher knows the student enjoys a specific art form, the teacher can use that to differentiate a lesson for that student. For example, having the output or final assessment for that lesson be something other than a test. Something that showcases the skills of that learner while still addressing educational standards

What even defines “core classes”? Math, Language Arts and Science? As these classes are necessary and important, why does it trump all other learning? Educating the whole child must be taken into consideration or else what kind of people are we sending out into the world? Visual and performing arts must have a seat at the education table. Arts classes should be part of the weekly breadth of classes. Why? Hard, scientific evidence proves the arts tap into parts of the brain untouched by customary rote work.

Learning does not happen in only one classroom, with one teacher in one academic setting. Learning happens everywhere all the time

Without Arts Ed, I would have been lost. I would not have taken the career path that I did. Arts Ed and the wonderful educator who recognized that, helped propel me to lengths I thought I would never be able to reach based on a standardized test score. I personally have seen the arts take my own students onto amazing paths of their own.

This is arts education. The power is real and the time is now.

Second Grade students working with partners to create numbers and letters.

Grade 4 students wrote their own play, created props and rehearsing for their upcoming adaptation of How the Grinch Stole Christmas.

The Beat: Arts Ed NJ’s Monthly Newsletter – November 2017

Save the date: #GivingTuesday 2017 is November 28th. We’re proud to be a part of the global celebration of giving. Visit Our Facebook Page & givingtuesday.org to find out more!

What Does an Arts Ed Now Ambassador Look Like? – Arts Ed Now Teacher Contest

As part of the Arts Ed Now campaign, we asked educators in New Jersey to create a three-photo storyboard to describe what it means to be an Ambassador. Here is what our winners had to say on social media. Meet the Winners!

1st Place: High School

Cumberland Regional High School

Elisabeth Campbell, Drama Academy Teacher

“Arts education is so important for all children.  I always find that the students who participate in arts related activities in school are the ones who are the innovators of the future.  The arts are all about being creative and being collaborative, both of which are necessary to succeed in life.  Your campaign is so important for raising awareness about how necessary it is to have the arts in education.  I am so grateful for programs such as yours. “

Hello!  My name is Elisabeth Campbell and I am the Drama Academy teacher at Cumberland Regional High School.  We have a Drama Academy that has 4 levels (Drama Academy 1, Drama Academy 2, Drama Academy 3, and Drama Academy 4), in addition to having two elective courses (Drama/Public Speaking, Advanced Drama) for non-academy students.  I teach the entire Academy courses and the Drama/Public Speaking courses, so I teach grades 9-12.  This is my 14th year teaching at Cumberland.  When I started, there was only one section of the Drama/Public Speaking class. I saw that there was a need for more sections and more levels and I collaborated with a former colleague to help create the Drama Academy program.  Our students perform a fall play and spring musical each year.  They also participate in the annual Shakesperience competition at Rider University in May.  We were also selected to be a part of the Adopt-A-School Program at Papermill Playhouse, and we will be hosting a teaching artist this year.

I am excited to say that our program has grown into one that is very comprehensive and helps prepare students for careers in the performing arts.

1st Place: Middle School

South Orange Middle School

Jake Ezzo, Choral Director

“I participated in this contest because I have made it my mission to re-define what a middle school choral program consists of. Simply put, arts education is the only domain in which students have complete agency in the art that they create. Even though each ensemble strives for common goals in repertoire pieces for public performance, each child also has personal goals which creates both group and individual agency. ”

About the Program-

Led by Mr. Ezzo, a Westminster Choir College alumni, the 300 member+,South Orange Middle School (SOMS) choral department seeks to redefine what a middle school choral experience is in the 5 different choirs offered to students. Mr. Ezzo came to SOMS in 2013-2014, and immediately began rebuilding the choir program from 11 6-8 in the past to 370+ last year. In the current school year, choir members have organized a benefit concert for hurricane victims and invited other schools, local bands, and even Broadway performers to help raise money for this cause. Choir members participate in 8 concerts throughout the year, and our select choirs travel to 6 flags for a competition, where they have scored a 99 and 100 last school year.

New for 2017-2018, Mr. Ezzo hopes to make the SOMS Chorus department the first S.T.E.A.M.(Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, Mathematics) classroom in the state of New Jersey. Currently, Mr. Ezzo has introduced LittleBits (a modular STEM-based building system) and project-based learning into the 6th grade choral curriculum, and also has started an afterschool Robotics club to help empower students, especially girls, into the field of S.T.E.M!

Student choice and a strong community culture are absolutely key for the success of the choral program. An 8th grade executive board of 8 diverse students help make all we do possible, assist Mr. Ezzo in planning, come up with fundraising and programming ideas, and perform community outreach. Students regularly conduct, arrange, accompany, write, and perform solos for the community through the program.

2nd Place: Middle School

Crockett Middle School

Lora Marie Durr, Artist / Educator

The goal of the art department is to make it clear to all visitors of the building that arts education matters to Crockett students and staff! By creating larger-scale collaborative artwork, such as the examples in the photos we shared, students are able to make their learning visible to all who view it.  “

I am Lora Marie Durr – art teacher at Crockett Middle School (Hamilton Township School District, Mercer County). I teach 6-7-8 arts and have been here since 2001!

I love creating projects with my students, which are collaborative and involve our school community. The photos I included were part of what the art department contributed to back to school night – a scavenger hunt that encouraged parents to look closely at our student-created public art and a Photo Booth for parents and staff members to enjoy.

In addition to teaching, I paint – I recently had a piece accepted into the NAEA juried members exhibit. I am on the Board of Directors for AENJ and was named my building teacher of the year last year.

Arts Ed NJ congratulates these educators for winning the Arts Ed Now storyboard contest!

These Ambassadors have shown us how a student’s learning is enriched as a result of their advocacy and hard work.

 

The Beat: Arts Ed NJ’s Monthly Newsletter – October 2017

Prepare to be wowed. Arts Ed NJ has so much to share in this issue of The Beat.  Connect to the findings of the Rutgers-Eagleton Public Opinion Poll on Arts Education.  Spend time reviewing the outcomes of the NJ Arts Education Census Report.

 

Current Featured

January 11, 2018
Arts Ed NJ’s THE BEAT. January 2018

ARTS ED NJ RELEASES  TITLE I SUPPORT WEBSITE FOR SCHOOL LEADERS and so mu...