By Intern, Raziyah Eure
About a month ago I had the opportunity to attend my very first Face to Face Conference, which is sponsored by Arts in Education Roundtable. This conference was created to gather people who believe in the importance of Arts Education, it’s power, and to have conversations about everything it entails. This being my first time being exposed to a large mass who’s lives revolve around advocating and teaching arts, I have to say it was a bit intimidating since I haven’t had as much experience in this field of work. Like any conference, there were two days of breakout sessions, as well as keynote speakers, and you can’t forget food. There were also a few short film screenings made by students. One showed the difficulty of being an immigrant student. Another showed the harsh reality of bullying and how a young boy with a stutter is affected by it. They had sessions ranging from “How to Create Advocacy Programs”, “How to DIY”, “How to make your presence known on Social Media”, reviewing the new arts core standards, the conversation surrounding how we create a diverse society, and so many more interesting topics.
My time spent at the Face to Face conference was one that was filled with learning and being surrounded by some pretty amazing people that are doing awesome things to build a better community within the arts. They had a host of different opportunities in the city listed. During the conference they had a “Making Art Together” station where there was a special art installation piece that all participants at the conference could add to. It was guided by the Staten Island Children’s Museum, and inspired by the work an artist, El Anatsui. The piece consisted of little foil pieces that you could manipulate, color, or draw on.
From the conference, I’ve learned the importance of advocating for something you believe in. Here some important tools I took away from the conference when it comes to advocating that I think are useful for everyone
- You have to make sure that you are well connected with others
- You have to have strategic planning to create concrete change
- It is important that you build the community first because that’s where the real change begins
- You have to get people to believe in what your advocating for you and you can do this by showing how it affects their life
- You need to be all inclusive of the community you serving and make sure you are inviting everyone into what you are doing to ensure you have others to speak positively on the programs you are creating
- You need to build personal relationships with others, its not always about what others can give you
- Most importantly you need to continue the conversation on what you are fighting for so that it gets continued exposure
This advice can help any one that wants to have not only a successful non-profit but a successful business. Even if you aren’t someone who is an advocate of Arts Education its important that you always take the time out to experience different cultures like the arts community because you’ll be surprised what you can learn.
By Intern, Raziyah Eure
April 15, 2016
Music is a gateway that helps us all connect to each other but it can also used to keep students engaged. In arts education we are always looking for new ways to teach and learn. FMA’s award-wining program has proved that anything is possible with the use of music to teach students STEM.
As the growing number of jobs in the fields of technology, science, engineering, and math rise, there seems to be a decline in student interest. To combat this Honeywell and NASA decided to come together and create FMA Live! to inspire middle school students to explore science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) concepts and careers. This program addresses Forces and Motion learning objectives outlined by the Next Generation Science Education Standards for students in grades 5-8.
FMA Live host an interactive show called Forces in Motion. It is one of the first traveling hip hop concerts that teaches the Newton’s Universal Law of Gravity and Three Laws of Motion. This show’s concept was named after Newton’s second law of motion, which is force equals mass times acceleration. They explore how studying Newton and physics can be seen in everyday life.
This popular show incorporates hip-hop music and dancers with student volunteers and on stage, interactive science experiments. “FMA hosts a big hip-hop concert with choreography, cool videos, giant sticky walls, extreme wrestlers, and the “Man Behind the Motion: Sir Isaac Newton.”
The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and Honeywell sponsor the production. FMA tours the country for 10 weeks in the fall and 10 weeks in the spring. Since the program’s creation in 2004, the FMA Live! cast has performed before 455,000 students in more than 1,150 schools in 48 states, as well as Mexico and Canada.
If the concert wasn’t enough FMA Live! also features an online “Teachers Lounge” that hosts the National Service Standards-based teaching resources, downloadable streaming videos, music from the show, and a comprehensive educational guide with lesson plans. This creates the opportunity for teachers to continue to incorporate a fun interactive way of learning beyond the concert.
It is the only nationally touring multi-media, science education production of its kind, and great motivation to teach kids and let them know that there are more options out there.
March 1, 2016
Arts For All is thrilled to welcome new Development Associate, Barbara Matovu. Recently our intern, Raziyah Eure, sat down to interview Barbara. You can read the interview below.
RE: Tell me a little about yourself.
BM:My name is Barbara. I was raised in North Carolina. I have one sister. My parents actually initially came to America from Uganda to go to college, but with time they decided to stay here and raise a family. Once during my Junior year of college I studied abroad in Spain. This was my first time experiencing real independence, which still helps me today with living in New York. It gave me the confidence to be able to navigate in new and unfamiliar place
RE: What is your connection with arts
BM:Ever since high school, I have been doing plays, and when I found out you could study theater in college I thought it would be something fun to do. I would later get a BA in Drama from the University of Greensboro in North Carolina.
RE: Why do you feel arts education is important?
BM: I think it is another way for people to learn and express themselves. I think it really helps when non-arts classes use artistic approaches to teach things to the class. Like once I had a history class and my teacher had us act out a war scene to better grasp the concept.
RE: What are two words that describe you? Why do you feel those best describe you?
BM: I am a detailed oriented and open person. Because I am detailed oriented, I am able to go deeper into things. Therefore, I start with very broad concepts and narrow them down. It is like how a scientist narrows things down to an atom. Being an open person allows me to be able to see things from different points of view.
RE: What are some of your hobbies?
BM: I self proclaimed myself the “History Nerd” because one day I was flipping through the channels and I would always miss this documentary series on all of the U.S. Presidents that I wanted to watch. So I decided in 2010 to read biographies on all of the Presidents. I just finished one on Woodrow Wilson, which puts me a little pass the halfway mark.
RE: What is your background in work?
BM: After college, I had done a job with a children’s theater, which used theater to teach students about substance abuse. I later moved to New York where I would search for similar teaching artist positions where I could either teach theater or use theater to discuss topics.
RE: Why do you feel Arts for All was a good fit for you?
BM: I believe Arts for All is a good fit for me because it fulfills the part of me that believes everyone should have access to education. I also enjoy the administration side, which involves fundraising. This job ultimately fulfills two parts of me and that is my artistic side, which is carried out through our arts programs, and my logical side, which allows me to work through things on the administration side to make sure we are fulfilling our goals.
RE: What is the primary thing you believe you have to offer to help this non-profit organization grow?
BM: I have development experience and also experience as a teaching artist. This allows me to be able to speak to the type of work we are doing in this organization and see what is important for the teachers and what need to be done in the classroom.
By Intern, Raziyah Eure
February 19th, 2016
Arts and Education will always be something that is important in fostering the imagination of young children, so this week I would like to shine a light on the Ron Clark Academy, which is based in Southeast Atlanta, Georgia. In the past few months this school has been highly covered by news outlets because of their video “Do it like me Challenge” caught wind, blew up the Internet, and became an instant sensation.
The Ron Clark Academy (RCA) is a non-profit middle school catering to grades 5th-8th students, who represent various socio- economic and academic backgrounds and communities, from the surrounding areas. It was co- founded by Ron Clark and Kim Bearden in Fall 2007. Clark’s main goal was to be able to create the best possible learning experience for children, so that they actually enjoy going to school, while also getting the education they deserve.
Ron Clark had a passion for teaching and took it to the next level and created a school. In an interview done by CBS Ron Clark said, “It’s hard to explain the Ron Clark Academy. It is a place that’s about passion, energy,” co-founder Ron Clark said. “I wanted to create a school where you could feel the spirit, wanted kids to walk into this school and say, ‘I love coming here.’ If you’ve got individuals who are passionate about making a difference in the lives of kids, they’re going to be successful.”
RCA’s principles include, Teaching in a way that promotes creativity, innovation, wonder, joy, and a passion for learning. Embracing RCA’s motto: No Fear! Celebrating diversity and different cultures. Striving to find the best, brightest, and most passionate educators from across the country to teach in their classrooms. Also to be a school that inspires academic excellence, leadership, collaboration, and a world class education for students.
RCA has received national and international recognition for its success in educating students with academic rigor, passion, and creativity balanced by a strict code of discipline.
This school in my opinion serves, as a great example of what all educators should strive to accomplish because it creates a brighter future for generations to come. Children need motivation to show them that these teachers are truly here for them and teach them in a way they can comprehend better if need be. Being able to watch these kids come to life on video shows the many great things the school has accomplished and the many things we have to look forward to in the future.
Here is a few video of the staff that performed a fun step show for the students and also two videos of the students in action:
By Intern, Raziyah Eure
February 10, 2016
Our Literacy Through the Arts Program is in full swing at both PS 15 and Hamilton Heights School. Literacy Through the Arts is an ongoing program which aims to increase kindergarten through second grade children’s literacy skills through a multi-arts curriculum focusing on movement, music and visual arts in order to improve their reading, writing and verbal expression.
I have had the pleasure kicking off the semester working with the 1st graders of Hamilton Heights, who are currently studying the story The Paper Bag Princess. The kids always enjoy starting Arts for All workshops with a song and dance warm-up.
The first week the children worked together to retell the story of The Paper Bag Princess, recalling what they could remember from the storyWas the story read aloud to them?. They then had the opportunity to act as some of their favorite characters in a mini play during rug time. Later they were able to finish their pictures that they drew of their favorite scene from the story, accompanying it with a sentence to describe what they drew. Many showed that they love the scenes with the dragon by depicting him blowing fire. In line with the Common Core, these activities would demonstrate the children’s understanding of the story’s message, and help them identify feelings that go with the words of the story.
The following week, the children were assigned their very own parts in a play version of The Paper Bag Princess. Many of the kids were enthusiastic to hear that they would be playing dragons and princesses.
We all then gathered at different tables of princesses, dragons, (and you cannot forget the prince), to do a read through of the script with the children. The children all very happily read the lines with much excitement and emotion when it got to their part. They found out by the end of the reading that they would have the opportunity to act it out in a play for other people to watch. Recounting the day, it was obvious that the students remembered the storyline clearly. One girl mentioned how she liked the part of the book where the princess tells the prince that just because he’s “dressed nice and has nice hair, he’s still a bum.” It was also great to see another student complimenting their classmate on how much they liked how the student read Prince Ronald’s lines.
I am looking forward to continuing to follow these students throughout this semester and to spending time with the 2nd Grade Literacy Through the Arts class as well!
January 25, 2016
by Raziyah Eure
Who am I?
My name is Raziyah Eure. I am a senior at Pace University-NYC campus. I am a full time student and active member on my campus. I am Communication Studies major. I am the Vice President of Black Student Union, and host a variation of other organizations on campus. I can be described as before my time and determined. I believe that the most important thing in life is to be happy.
Why do you feel Arts for all is a good fit for you?
I stumbled upon the organization Arts for All as I was looking for an internship. I had been looking through various organizations, but could not find one that I believed I could really advocate for. When I came across Arts for All, it drew me in because of the way they worked to advocate for children to create a better life for them. Using the arts to instill values in children, I think is the best way and most enjoyable tactic to get through to children who live in underserved communities. Also they give children the opportunity to participate in these arts programs that a lot of public schools no longer offer.
What is your connection with arts?
If anyone really knows me they know I LOVE Old School R&B music, basically anything before my time. I got the opportunity to see my favorite artist Stevie Wonder not once, but twice in concert. If I’m not listening to him you can catch me jamming out to some Jazz music. I luckily got the chance to go visit the roots of Jazz in good ole New Orleans, visiting any and every place that had live performances. I generally like to dabble in all areas of art from writing poetry to knitting a hat, anything that brings joy into my life.
I believe in living life to the fullest and here are a few quotes that I live by:
“Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world.”
In the Dark
Brighter than many ever see
She within herself
Through the soul’s own mastery
And now the world receives
From her dower
The message of the strength
Of inner power.”
– Langston Hughes