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The Arts

18 Posts

Creative Music Making ideas for teachers and kids alike at DabbledooMusic.com. Free for all users. Here's a recent funding video (we got the funding!) to show how it works. Any feedback or comments are most welcome . http://www.dabbledoomusic.com/

Have you ever wanted to take a Latin Dance class but didn't have enough time? Download our newest Five(ish) Minute Dance Lesson and you can learn the Merengue, Salsa, and Bachata anywhere!


Lesson 1 is up: iTunes - Podcasts - Five(ish) Minute Dance Lesson: Latin Dance by ARTSEDGE: The Kennedy Center's Arts Education Network

The HD version is here: iTunes - Podcasts - Five(ish) Minute Dance Lesson: Latin Dance by ARTSEDGE: The Kennedy Center's Arts Education Network


Please take the time to leave a review! As always, we welcome feedback from the Thinkfinity Community!


The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts is accepting nominations for the 2013 Kennedy Center/Stephen Sondheim Inspirational Teacher Awards – a series of annual grants that recognize inspiring teachers across the United States.  The awards were created in honor of Stephen Sondheim’s 80th birthday and were initiated and funded through the support of Freddie and Myrna Gershon. Broadway legend Stephen Sondheim frequently attributes his success to the teachers in his life. The Kennedy Center/Stephen Sondheim Inspirational Teacher Awards are presented each year on Sondheim’s birthday – March 22 – to a handful of teachers, kindergarten through college, who are nominated via the Kennedy Center website (www.kennedy-center.org/sondheimteacherawards).


By spotlighting the extraordinary impact teachers have on the lives of their students, the awards celebrate the teaching profession, the important role of teachers in society, and seek to inspire others to pursue this noble profession. Along with the $10,000 Award, the selected teachers are showcased on the Kennedy Center website.


Nominees must be legal residents of the United States who currently teach or have taught in a K-12 school, college, or university in the United States. Teachers of all grade levels and subject areas are eligible. To nominate a teacher, you must be at least 18 years of age and must have been the Nominee’s student. Nominations can be a written, audio, or video story. All required materials must be submitted online or postmarked by Sunday, December 16, 2012. For more information, official rules, and nomination information, visit the website: www.kennedy-center.org/sondheimteacherawards


The Kennedy Center/Stephen Sondheim Inspirational Teachers Awards also maintains Teachers Change Lives (www.facebook.com/TeachersChangeLives); a Facebook page dedicated to sharing stories about great moments with great teachers. Be inspired, join the movement, and spread the word: Teachers Change Lives!

Heroes exist in history, movies, and comic books, but also in our own communities and even our own homes. From firefighters to Olympic athletes, soldiers to even the heroes in ourselves, heroes are all around us. In our newest podcast series, listen to how composers celebrate the accomplishments of famous heroes through music; and think about what it takes to be a hero, and how to know a hero when you see (and hear) one!

You can download the "Summon the Heroes!" podcast here: http://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/summon-the-heroes!/id566672853

Be sure to leave a review!


You can also visit ARTSEDGE for the online performance guide and related resources! http://artsedge.kennedy-center.org/students/kc-connections/series/cuesheet/121017-ypc-heroes.aspx


As always, we welcome feedback from the Thinkfinity Community!


Finding Science in the Arts

Posted by tabryant Sep 26, 2012

At some point during the school year, parents may find their kids struggling with picking a subject for their science (fair) project. Ever consider merging the arts with science? Choosing an experiment that focuses on the arts equips a child with critical thinking skills and broadens her artistic abilities and understanding.  Need some ideas? Read our Family Feature, ARTSEDGE: Finding Science in the Arts.


As always, we welcome feedback from the Thinkfinity Community!



ARTSEDGE had the chance to sit down with Garry Golden, who talked with us about the future of arts experiences, the role of educators, careers in the arts, and the impact of emerging technology on the arts. Visit ARTSEDGE to watch the interviews at: http://artsedge.kennedy-center.org/multimedia/series/VideoStories/garry-golden.aspx


Or go to iTunes and download the podcast series here: http://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/garry-golden-on-future-arts/id542377038?mt=2


As always, we welcome feedback from the Thinkfinity Community!


Celebrate the Fourth of July with our latest audio story, Unpacking our National Anthem: The Star-Spangled Banner! You'll learn about the history of "The Star-Spangled Banner," the countless ways it has been adapted by musicians, and the special role it played during the attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941.


You can download Unpacking our National Anthem: The Star-Spangled Banner through iTunes at http://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/unpacking-our-national-anthem/id539511801?i=117369505. Please also take a second to rate and review the podcast.


As always, we encourage and welcome feedback from the Thinkfinity Community!

It's officially summertime, which means school's out for most kids across the nation. What plans do you have to keep the kids' "I'm bored"-s at bay before it's back-to-school season?


Check out the ARTSEDGE feature "Summer Boredom Busters" for fun arts-oriented suggestions for kids of all ages. You can read the article here: http://artsedge.kennedy-center.org/families/at-home/now-playing/summer-boredom-busters.aspx


As always, we welcome all feedback from the Thinkfinity Community!



When you think of the arts, you may immediately think of words like "creativity" and "imagination." But what about "self-esteem"? This  article focuses on five ways that studying the arts can boost a child's self-esteem. You can read "What the Arts Can Do For Your Child" here: http://artsedge.kennedy-center.org/families/at-home/supporting-young-artists/what-the-arts-can-do.aspx. And let us know  other ways the arts can improve a child's confidence.


As always, we welcome feedback from the Thinkfinity Community!

May's almost over, which means summer's coming and students will be transitioning from one grade to the next. If thoughts about college are on the horizon, read our "Sorting Out College Confusion" article to help your arts-inclined student find a good college match.


You can read the article here: http://artsedge.kennedy-center.org/families/at-home/supporting-young-artists/college-confusion.aspx


As always, we encourage and welcome feedback from the Thinkfinity Community!



ARTSEDGE has a family feature perfect for recognizing April as National Humor Month. The article "For the Love of Comedy" includes tips for how parents can support their child's interest in comedy and foster positive ways to make others laugh.


You can read the article here: http://artsedge.kennedy-center.org/families/at-home/supporting-young-artists/for-the-love-of-comedy.aspx

And make sure to check out our other tagged "comedy" content.


As always, we encourage and welcome feedback from the Thinkfinity Community!





ARTSEDGE presents a new Families feature, "Kids' Classical Countdown."


This article provides a top ten list of  masterpieces that parents can share with their children to bolster their child's knowledge of classical music and broaden their knowledge of music in general. "Kids' Classical Countdown" includes clips of the music selections you can listen to while reading about pieces you should know and have heard before (but didn't know what they were).


As always, we encourage and welcome feedback from the Thinkfinity Community!


ARTSEDGE presents a new multi-part video series: Five(ish) Minute Dance Lesson: African Dance


In this video series, dancer Rujeko Dumbutshena and drummer Farai Malianga show you how to dance traditional African dances.


You can subscribe to Five(ish) Minute Dance Lesson: African Dance through iTunes (http://itunes.apple.com/WebObjects/MZStore.woa/wa/viewPodcast?id=507152366) or access the entire series on ARTSEDGE (http://artsedge.kennedy-center.org/multimedia/series/VideoStories/african-dance.aspx) with additional context for students and educators.


As always, we encourage and welcome feedback from the Thinkfinity Community!

Greetings, Thinkfinity Friends!


Some of you may have heard already – On January 31st, John Legend joined us at the Kennedy Center to announce a new arts and digital media learning campaign, called What’s Going On…NOW. (If you’d prefer to watch your overview, or see excerpts of John surprising kids from Duke Ellington School for the Arts, or playing at the Press Event, I have links below.) I know this post is long, but we wanted to share lots of details with you, in hopes you and your students will get involved.


The What’s Going On…NOW project centers on Marvin Gaye’s landmark album, What’s Going On, released in 1971, and his performance one year later at the then-newly-opened Kennedy Center in Washington, DC.  With the support of artists like John Legend, Common, Smokey Robinson and Sonia Sanchez, we are leading a national conversation that celebrates not only Marvin’s artistic impact and social activism, but inspires youth to add their own perspectives as connected, creative citizen artists.


Using the issues and ideas captured on the album as a catalyst, the campaign invites young people to share their own perspectives on the similarities and differences between Marvin’s “then” and their own “now,” through video, photos, poems, music – wherever they find their creative voice. We hope to inspire them to create media that examines the themes of the original recording—war, poverty, the environment, addiction, personal truth—in contemporary contexts.


To support and showcase this work, we have created a rich digital resource that helps teens to think about the historical contexts, connect with the music, and share their work on a national stage. In addition to featuring the best of their work on the whatsgoingonnow.org Website, two participants who submit exemplary pieces will be selected to join us in Washington for John Legend’s May 3, 2012 performance at the Kennedy Center with Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings and the National Symphony Orchestra.


The Teacher-y Part:

WGON is a project that asks students to look at past and contemporary issues through an artistic lens.  Through the web site we have created at www.whatsgoingonnow.org, you can find resources to help your students think about the issues, create their own art, and connect with the work of others. We have a For Educators section with things just for you, and also lots of student-centered production tips and ideas, many from the national network of youth media and digital learning groups we have brought together for the campaign.


Our framework is pretty straightforward; we are asking students to:


1)  Spend some time looking at Marvin’s “then” and our “now”—understanding what has changed, and what’s stayed the same, is an important part of this project.


2) Get familiar with the issues, and think about how they touch us today. If they have a personal or emotional connection to the subject, their artistic responses will be that much stronger. A little bit of research will help inform and inspire them.


3) Create their own work. We want young people to tell the world what you think about the issues Marvin raised—and where we are 40 years later. We want them to think like artists not just thinking about the issues, but really pushing their creativity to communicate their ideas.


4) Share it with us, and with others. If they have a great piece, we want them to upload it (to YouTube or Flickr, details on the site) and tell us a bit about it. We are curating only the best onto our Web site – and those pieces will be submitted to the artistic team creating the Kennedy Center events in May to be considered for integration into our performances. 


Oh, and about those pieces that make it to the site— we’ll be reviewing them a second time to select 2 people (and their parent or adult ally) to join us in DC for the May.


I hope you will take some time to look at the site, and more importantly, share your ideas for how you would use this resource with your students. We created an Idea Bank and a series of lessons (targeting teaching artists and informal learning environments, but equally usable in the classroom) – but we would be thrilled to have the Thinkfinity Community adding their expertise and ideas.


Please excuse the length! If you would like more info, or would like us to send you posters for your schools, just drop us a line.


All best,

Nuit and the ARTSEDGE team



For strong overviews of the project, check out the NBC (http://goo.gl/P6KSM ) and BET (http://goo.gl/L2Yn1) news spots. There was also extensive coverage in the Washington Post (http://goo.gl/Glvol) and call to action on MTV.com’s Act page (http://goo.gl/v99ry)


Please follow -- and like, retweet and share us – on Social Media

Facebook facebook.com/whatsgoingonnow

Twitter @wgonproject, #wgon

YouTube http://www.youtube.com/user/WGONowCampaign

The Arts, some say, are not science, not in the realm with music. texture, lines perfectly drawn, timing of a piano piece(or are they?).  For me, art is everything!!! I've enriched what my definition of art is through integrating all subject matter, while incorporating multiple learning styles, self-exploration, visual memories and fantasy, history, experiments, while never excluding every singe subject, and connecting to a past moment and today...I've done this for many years.  It's how I think, how I taught in several settings, in several grades, with children that were labeled Gifted, not WORTH it, attitudes, fiesty, inquisitive, truancy constants, doctors' children, teachers' and nurses' children...They all learn one way, through many gifts(not deficits that we want to medicate for US to feel better)... I get to know who they are, what they like, what their life is through their eyes, and constant modeling with facilitation....Abstract concepts do not come to our learners in the way WE think...: )  I am one....A 21st century learner(just way before my time), which I call, the multicultural/mulidisciplinary learner, who have been taught the way WE are using today, except with extra virtual AWESOMENESS to create experience...Give me ONE word, ONE concept, and I will create, connect and guide myself and any learner, in minutes, literally, through some "form" OF art/scientific processes....Not ballet, piano, or even song, but I guarantee every single student will learn through an artistic/scientific channel, which I KNOW feed off of each other...We don't need textbooks anymore....If we can't teach standards without a textbook, we should not have a job.  Technology and ART/SCIENCE(freedom to ask, question, and create) are the answers...WE have one HUGE problem...Artists and Scientists, including Sociologists, Philosophers, Psychologists, and Visionaries have specific traits, qualities, talents...oddities..eccentricities, not being able to stop connecting, slow down our minds, abilities to sleep like everyone else....We connec to each other immediately...We are placing credentials prior to what motivates...Connections of the insides that NOT all of us have or have developed.  Writing papers, working on a book, a curricula without texts(nope, not tech based, but tech incorporated), being a mommy, a wife, and beginning a Masters motivates me to serve more and I'm saddened that I can't...??? 


The 21st Century learner..When I hear others say this, I laugh...."WE see, hear, feel/touch, smell, do, think, do again, create, connect, create again, practice our creation, talk about it, check the next one out, want to learn more, and then maybe, we're ready to move on and maybe we do it again....We won't be told what to do or how to do it for too long, due to boredom and, by my sharing my learning experience and someone calling my name to be quiet shuts me down.  I need to move, on a regular basis, I need to hear I'm a good student and person and I'm on a role or I MAY want to rewind and recheck, maybe...MY choice...Tell me all I'm not doing that you would do instead of sitting beside me and offer positivity and guidance with standards, and I want you away, far away...I...YES, I need to learn, with your help, not your judgement, the way you did or worked for you, and please accept me, because noone gets me....We, learners, today, of all ages, sizes and multiple issues, styles and backgrounds will connect and do as we will, even if you don't believe in us...We will work harder, and we will live and travel all over and help others since you don't appreciate who we are...Don't make me sit, I don't hear you...Don't tell me to walk in a straight line when you don't.  Don't tell me to not question when what is being said is not about today...I am who I am...I learn how I learn...Let me be..Let me be free...Allow me to share...Allow me to move...Allow me to decide what I want to read that makes sense to me today...and let ME connect to History.  I am a 21st Century Learner, and the more you tighten the rope, the more I will anger and purposely show you that what you're teaching, I learned 2 years ago...I want to build, design, create, share, question, test, have very few friends, and I don't need to be told what to do...A kind reminder is sufficient...Control is my enemy, Freedom and acceptance are my friends, my creators of tomorrow..."

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