Many members of the Chatham Arts Council’s staff now find themselves with children schooling at home. You too? If so, we have some exciting new arts curricula to share with you (and all of Chatham County!), and we couldn’t be more thrilled about it!
With COVID-19 stay at home orders in place, executing our amazing Artists-in-Schools Initiative inside schools is simply not possible. (If you’re new to Artists-in-Schools, it’s one of our flagship programs where we take professional artists into Chatham County schools to help make deeper curriculum connections through art, theater, and music.) We came up with an idea to reach even more elementary students by bringing professional artist workshops to students at their homes through online videos. Participating artists are creating five to 20 minute educational and performance videos specially for our local kids, available to Chatham County students via the At Home Learning page or through their classroom and arts teachers.
We’re one of the first counties in the state to make give this a go, and the videos will be available as a resource for all our kindergarten through eighth-grade students in both traditional public schools and public charters. Pretty rad, right? We think so!
“It is crucial during a challenging time such as the COVID-19 situation that we address the needs of students in a well-rounded way,” explained Beth McCullough, Executive Director of Secondary Programs & Communications at Chatham Charter School. “ For students whose most creative connections are with the arts, being able to have resources like Artists-in-Schools videos while at home helps them continue to learn and explore, even though it’s in a different format than the traditional on-campus performances and residencies. We appreciate the Chatham Arts Council’s commitment in forging ahead and finding a way to bring the arts to students.”
The Artists-in-Schools online videos are being created by local dancers, performance artists, a West African musician, a puppeteer, and jazz musicians: Black Box Dance Theatre, Diali Cissokho, NC Arts in Action, Jeghetto, and John Brown’s Little Big Band. Through these videos, students will have an opportunity to explore the world, learning about different cultures and varying forms of art.
Look out for these workshops in communications from your child’s teacher. Or, as you’re thinking about how you will approach tomorrow, remember these videos and add them to your at-home arts curricula. You can do as many as you want. No charge. No limit.
The arts are more important now than ever—for learning, for joy, and for resilience. We love our Chatham County children.
The Chatham Arts Council could not bring professional artists into Chatham County schools without the help of our partners: Chatham County Schools, Chatham County, and the North Carolina Arts Council. In addition, these online arts residencies for all public Chatham County school students are powered by the Bartlett-Dasher Family, Cackalacky, Dawn Porter & Friends, Opus Financial Advisors & Friends, Resolute, and Sanford Contractors. We are grateful!