School year 2013-2014 welcomed 1700 students into our collaborative arts residencies. Weekly our students worked with poets, writers, painters, actors, dancers and musicians to develop literacy and leadership skills; team work and collaboration; and creative and critical thinking skills.
Sustained weekly arts residencies were held in 46 classrooms in 13 schools, 8 after-school programs, and 3 branches of public libraries. Our students collectively published 18 anthologies of their poetry and creative writing; painted 8 murals; mounted 6 exhibitions of visual art; and participated in 26 performances for peers and community.
Our training programs placed 25 Teaching Artist Trainees in 36 classroom internships, working with CWP Teaching Artists and classroom teachers, gaining invaluable hands-on experience with our students. Trainees also attended a total of 20 seminars throughout the 25-week training program. The year also saw an increase in CWP’s professional training of experienced Teaching Artists to strengthen the field of arts education nationwide.
Our committment to arts education grows deeper with each passing year. CWP in the classroom ensures that kids learn creative problem solving, crital thinking skills, leadership, collaboration, and a sense of community and social justice in the classroom and beyond.
Renee Watson, lead trainer for our Teaching Artist Training and Intership Program, recently spoke about The Role of The Arts in Social Justice at the United Nations’ International Symposium for Cultural Diplomacy:
“What takes an art-for-arts-sake class to an art-for-social-justice class is asking our young, budding artists to explore justice questions through their art making…We ask questions that empower… We ask questions that foster creativity… We ask questions that build connections…Through art, students search for answers. …Artists are problem solvers…Young people are using their art to plant seeds of change.
From the role of the executive director, to the grant writers and program administers, to the teachers and artists who are in the classroom, all of us are gatekeepers. We are all responsible for making this world a just place, a place where art lives and thrives.”