Three Fairfax County Public Middle Schools will experience a deeper engagement with the arts as part of the ARTSFAIRFAX Artist Residency Program. Students in Holmes, Glasgow and Frost Middle Schools art programs will work with artists who connect printmaking, theater and visual arts to social studies and language arts and creative writing to offer students engaging, unique and innovative learning experiences.
ARTSFAIRFAX’s Residency Program brings together professional artists and educators to share their passion, creativity, knowledge, and skill, guiding students to discover and develop their creative expressions. This year’s artists include:
- Heidi Fortune Picker, Ford’s Theatre teaching artist and director of constituent engagement with 1st Stage Theatre in Tysons, will engage Homes Middle School art students in “Exploring Movement in Improvisation” from January 7-18. The residency will integrate language arts to offer students opportunities to practice effective communication and active listening skills by creating original, imaginative stories through improvisation. The residency culminates with an in-class showcase of improvisations performed by and for the students.
- Chitra Sharma, a screen printer, visual artist, and designer, will work with Glasgow Middle School art students on “The Glasgow Print Society” from February 11-28. Sharma’s residency integrates social studies, language arts, poster design, and printmaking, enabling students to communicate their ideas about the community and environment. Student posters will be exhibited in communal school space.
- Suzy Scollon, professional artist and art educator with over 20 years’ experience and a coach for primary classroom teachers at Wolf Trap Institute for Early Childhood Learning through the Arts, will work with Frost Middle School students in the spring. She will integrate creative writing and promote empathy among peers and the global community, offering students the opportunity to use ceramic projects for storytelling in “Creating Connections in Clay.” Student artwork and “stories” will be exhibited in a school show.
“This year’s Artists Residents Heidi Fortune Picker, Chitra Sharma and Suzy Scollon have designed engaging programs that encourage students to express themselves artistically,” said Linda S. Sullivan, President & CEO of ARTSFAIRFAX. “The teaching artists’ ability to integrate their professional skills into the FCPS curriculum teaches students communication skills, critical thinking, collaboration and creativity while developing confidence and building common experiences shared through art.”
To learn more about the program or to host a teaching artist for your middle school, visit artsfairfax.org.
ARTSFAIRFAX retains its legal name of the ARTS Council of Fairfax County, but all community and business engagement will fall under the new brand name. ARTSFAIRFAX is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit charitable organization, incorporated in 1964, as Fairfax County’s designated local arts agency. ARTSFAIRFAX is funded in part by Fairfax County, corporations, foundations, individuals, the Virginia Commission for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts.
(via ARTSFAIRFAX. Photo courtesy of ARTSFAIRFAX.)