Taking Arts Integration to the Next Level
Students at Akron's Miller South School for the Visual and Performing Arts created this garden from recycled materials.
Integrating the arts with other subject areas is a promising way to engage students, deepen understanding and develop the innovative thinking needed to maintain our nation's competitive edge. Only educators and schools can create the momentum needed for clearing remaining hurdles and making high-quality arts integration a prominent part of a 21st century education.
Whether you and your colleagues are skeptical, intrigued, convinced or wildly enthusiastic about the potential value of arts integrated learning experiences, this article will point you toward next steps you can take and resources that can help you as you advance in your exploration of this promising approach.
Materials from an arts integration workshop hosted by the Ohio Alliance for Arts Education and interviews with teachers and administrators from the Akron Public Schools helped create the framework for this article.
Arts Education in National Spotlight
Since 2011, the National Governors Association and the President's Committee on Arts and Humanities have issued reports about the public value of arts learning. The U.S. Department of Education has released a report on the status of arts education over a decade. Distinguished national arts organizations have engaged in dialogue about a full spectrum of arts education challenges—from improving standards and assessment to promoting imagination and creativity.
These activities provided unprecedented opportunities to turn the spotlight on arts education and make the case that the arts should have a broader role in educational transformation. They also have expanded the body of useful online information available to arts education advocates, practitioners and school leaders. The Links & Threads "Resource Round-Up" can help you navigate this information and find answers to the questions that concern you most.
The Art of Summer
Every summer, the Dairy Barn in Athens takes advantage of its beautiful natural surroundings to hold a Summer Arts Camp that brings science, language arts and other subjects to life. Students have a magical time while they explore academic content and develop 21st century skills.
A grant from the Ohio Arts Council supported the administration of the camp and overall development of the program.
The Status of Arts Education in Ohio Public Schools
To what degree do Ohio schools provide access to arts education, create the conditions necessary for high-quality arts learning and promote the sustainability of arts education programs? Those broad questions are the framework of a new report published by the Ohio Alliance for Arts Education, the Ohio Department of Education and the Ohio Arts Council. Findings and recommendations are based on a 2009-2010 Study by Quadrant Education Research, which included analysis of ODE data on all public schools (both traditional and community schools) and a statewide survey that garnered a 16% response rate. Anyone who makes decisions that could affect K-12 students' access to arts education and their continued progress in learning in, about and through the arts should read this report.
Meet Chiquita Mullins Lee, OAC Arts Learning Coordinator
Chiquita Mullins Lee, who just completed her first year as the OAC's Arts Learning Coordinator, brings an ideal blend of creative and administrative skills to the role. She is a published poet and playwright, and she has worked in schools and other learning environments as an OAC teaching artist. Prior to assuming the role of arts learning coordinator, she was the OAC's Poetry Out Loud coordinator.
Mullins Lee credits her predecessor, Joanne Eubanks, with making her aware of how rich the experience of working with teachers and students could be. She hopes to continue that legacy by helping more schools and communities take advantage of the OAC's arts learning grants and artist residencies.
Updated Arts Standards Adopted
At its June 2012 meeting, Ohio's State Board of Education voted unanimously to adopt the newly updated arts standards for dance, drama/theatre, music and visual art. The updated standards are now available at the ODE Web link.
The ODE Office of Curriculum and Assessment is beginning the process of writing a Model Curriculum to enhance Ohio's recently revised Fine Arts Learning Standards. K-12 educators in the visual and performing arts—dance, drama/theatre, music and visual art—will be selected to participate in developing model curriculum drafts in the four arts areas. The drafts will be shared for additional feedback and public input.
Westerville Student Wins 2013 Poetry Out Loud State Finals
Ohio's State Poetry Out Loud Champion, Taribo Osuobeni
The Ohio Arts Council held its eighth annual Poetry Out Loud state competition on Saturday, March 16 in the Matesich Theatre at Ohio Dominican University. Taribo Osuobeni (right; photo by Todd Callentine), a senior at Westerville Central High School in Westerville, won the competition with his recitations of On Quitting, by Edgar Allen Guest; No Coward Soul is Mine, by Emily Bronte; and The Craftsman by Marcus B. Christian. As the winner of the state finals, Osuobeni received a $300 prize, his school gets $500 for the purchase of poetry books, and he will receive an all-expense-paid trip to compete in the Poetry Out Loud national finals in Washington, D.C., from April 28-30, 2013.
More than 6,000 students from 56 schools around Ohio participated in Poetry Out Loud competitions this year. After classroom-level and then school-wide contests, 37 students competed in the final event. They performed classic and contemporary poems for a five-person panel of poetry and performance experts. Students were awarded points for accuracy, physical presence, voice and articulation, level of difficulty and other criteria.
The top three students also received cash prizes: First runner-up Amelia Brownstein, a senior from Bexley High School in Bexley, received $200 and $200 for her school library. Second runner-up, Stewart Silver, a junior from Upper Arlington High School in Upper Arlington, received $100 with $50 for his school library. Three other students received honorable mentions: Rachel Strahorn, a junior from Chaminade Julienne High School in Dayton; Sarah Schoultz, a sophomore from Centennial High School in Columbus; and Dezi Lowry, a junior from Purcell Marian High School in Cincinnati.
Poetry Out Loud is sponsored by the Ohio Arts Council with national support from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation and with local assistance from the Ohioana Library Association and Thurber House.