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Spotlight: Vickie Fremont in Fordham University @ PS 85X

Noted fashion designer, anthropologist, and recycled materials artist Ms. Veronique “Vickie” Fremont has been an AH teaching artist for over eight years.  Fluent in five languages (French, Spanish, English, Portuguese, and Italian), Vickie is a highly effective arts educators for English Language Learners (ELLs).  She has just finished an AH in-school visual arts residency at PS 85 in partnership with Fordham University’s Graduate School of Education in the Fordham Heights neighborhood of the Bronx.  Ms. Joyce Griffen, another AH teaching artist who has been working with us since 2009, is also currently working with PS 85 students in a storytelling program.  Joyce is an accomplished actress, jazz vocalist and director with extensive experience in special education.

Arts Horizons is pleased to enter our second year at PS 85 in partnership with the Fordham Center for Educational Partnerships initiative with Community Schools.  This continues a longstanding relationship working with the students and educators at PS 85 that dates back to 2007.

AH’s new program coordinator, Kiran Rajagopalan, visited one of Vickie’s classes earlier in January at PS 85.  Let’s visit one of her classes

accordion-book-and-storyAn “Accordion Book” by one of Vickie’s students

Vickie’s AH residency was aimed at PS 85’s ELL students primarily in grades 3 and 4.  She focused on bookmaking so that students had ample opportunities to practice writing in English.  In the picture above, Vickie is holding some examples of “The Book of Diversity” created by her students using recycled materials such as cloth scraps, beads, and yarn.  Students were also instructed to draw a self-portrait and write on where they come from and how they are learning English inside the books.  This was just one of several books the students made during the residency!  Other projects included:  “The Book of the Favorite Words,” “Book Accordion,” and “Mobile Book.”

Vickie also used her proficiency in Spanish to great effect, and she conducted her classes in both English and Spanish so that communication was clear for each and every student.  Mr. Carlos Torres, a teacher at PS 85, was very appreciative of having an visual arts program for students because it “really makes a difference with academic[s]” as it “engages their creativity and relaxes their minds to learn.”  Vickie added that her residencies are designed to encourage students to “discover the connection between the hand and creativity.”

img_7047-editedStudents at work in PS 85X with Vickie (left) and Carlos (right)

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Celebrating Our Teaching Artist During Teaching Artist Appreciation Week 2012

The Association of Teaching Artist (ATA) declared last week  National Teaching Artist Appreciation Week, “a week to pay tribute to Teaching Artists, to honor local Teaching Artists and acknowledge the crucial role Teaching Artists play in making sure every student receives a quality education” [SOURCE]. We would like to join the celebration and thank our Arts Horizons’ Teaching Artist for being an inspiration and impacting so many lives.

Arts Horizons has a roster of over 200 dedicated professional musicians, visual artist, actors, dancers, poets, and new media artists. Since 1978, our artists have successfully brought the arts to over seven million learners through residencies, professional development, assemblies, and other projects. We appreciate our Teaching Artist for  sharing our vision to transform lives through the power of the arts.

“Thank You”
– Arts Horizons Staff

Director of  Special Populations and NYC Residencies Dena Malarek had this to say about the special celebration and the artists she works closely with on a daily basis:

During National Teaching Artist Appreciation Week, I extend my gratitude to the energy, spirit, and ongoing supply of new ideas and inspiration that emerges from every one of our teaching artists.  Every day, I recognize the exciting opportunities that you bring to our students, educators and communities.  Teaching artists give students a chance to discover and showcase true talents, in a school structure that may not give them a chance to do so.  Beyond the work you do, I have become inspired by all of your ideas and projects and have happily carried this into my own creative works.  Thank you.

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Arts Horizons Special Education Academy Awarded 2011 Flutie Foundation Grant

Arts Horizons’ Special Education Artist Academy (SEAA) is a proud 2011 recipient of the Flutie Foundation Grant.

The Doug Flutie Jr. Foundation is dedicated to increasing awareness and improving the quality of life for people and families living with autism. Part of their mission is to fund advocacy programs as well as educational, therapeutic, and recreational opportunities. Annually, the Foundation awards grants to non-profit organizations and schools that provide services, education and advocacy for children living with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).

SEAA, now in its 5th season, will use this grant to continue its intensive training for teaching artists through theater, dance and visual arts programs for students with autism in NYC Department of Special Education, District 75.  Training includes mentorship, practicum experience and professional development for best practices in special education and the arts. To learn more and see a video about SEAA, click here.

We would like to thank the Doug Flutie Jr. Foundation for supporting our efforts!

For more information contact, Dena Malarek:

Dena Malarek,
Director, Special Populations and NYC Residencies

dena@artshorizons.org

NJ Phone: 201-567-1766 * 108
NY Phone: 212-268-7219 * 108
Fax: 201-567-5312

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