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In This Month's Edition:
COCA Announcements
COCA Arts in Education Articles
Resources for an Online Curriculum
Professional Development
Around Town
Job Opportunities
Did You Know?
Quick Links
COCA Announcements

ONLINE events are a NEW category on our
Tallahassee Arts Guide at

List all your VIRTUAL arts classes, workshops,
summer camps, and more in the "Events" category on our site. 

ALL ONLINE EVENTS will be listed and featured in our weekly Monday Tallahassee Arts Guide "This Week" email that goes to over 13,000 individuals. Anyone in the 100-mile radius around Tallahassee can add listi ngs to the Tallahassee Arts Guide.

Questions? Feel free to contact Amanda Thompson at  or 850-224-2500

If you're offering summers camps this year, either online or in-person, be sure to list them on  COCA's Tallahassee Arts Guide.  We'll promote them for free. 
Simply, click the "register" button in the upper right corner and set up your own free account if you haven't already. Then list your summer camps as events.
Questions? Feel free to contact Amanda Thompson at  or 850-224-2500

COCA Arts in Education Articles
'Quaranthings': Art teacher taps photographer's idea for self-portraits
June 3, 2020
In the midst of a world-wide pandemic, what's an art teacher to do? Think globally, of course. 

That's exactly what Heather Clark, art teacher at Fort Braden School has done. As a result of school closures, teachers had to quickly adjust their entire curriculum to the digital sphere. Creative educators saw this not as a setback, but an opportunity to emphasize how the arts can connect us during challenging times.   

Inspired by a lesson created by Libby Beaty, an art teacher in South Korea, Clark prompted her students and faculty to think like contemporary photographer Gregg Segal.

Read the rest of the story  here. Check out our archived articles on the  COCA blog.

Salt dough shapes the way for making art at home
June 10, 2020
Art teacher, Angela Merchan planned to start a clay unit after her students returned from Spring Break. Not to be dissuaded by the pandemic, she redesigned her lessons to fit a digital instruction format and made it a family affair. Pineview Elementary School students and their parents were encouraged to work together to create sculptures from clay they made themselves.     

Ever resourceful and adaptable, Merchan considered what her students would have access to while quarantined. Taking inspiration from teacher and media maven Cassie Stephens, a veritable goddess to most elementary visual art teachers, Merchan challenged her students to create salt dough. 

Read the rest of the story  here. Check out our archived articles on the  COCA blog.

Digital Drama
June 17, 2020

In the last nine weeks of the school year, Jodi Drew's chorus and drama students are usually preparing for their annual Showcase. The performance is the culmination of the artistic growth that's occurred through the preceding months. The pandemic and resulting school closure presented a challenge, but Drew - a veteran teacher with decades of experience - knew the show must go on.  

Instead of presenting their polished pieces to a packed audience of fans, Montford Middle School's emerging performing artists recorded works to be shared digitally.

Read the rest of the story  here. Check out our archived articles on the  COCA blog.

Creativity Persists: Across the Spectrum
June 20, 2020
Disembodied faces hover in a grid and serve as a stark reminder that social meeting places and routines have rapidly reformed. Theater, music and art classrooms are no exception, as the screen's harsh glow strips away familiar physical and social cues interrupted by glitches or technological failures. 

Children and adults alike are becoming energetically drained as they succumb to "Zoom fatigue," whether it's during an overwhelming succession of business meetings, school activities or performing arts rehearsals. Board president and co-founder of Making Light Productions Juliet Yaques says that in many ways, these trends are shedding light on the communication breakdown that the disability community confronts every day. 

Read the rest of the story  here. Check out our archived articles on the  COCA blog.

June 24, 2020
All year, Victoria Mendenhall and her art students have been steadily working towards their first ever school-wide art exhibition. Every one of Gilchrist Elementary School's 920 students were going to be represented in the show and many of them had planned to serve as docents, guiding family and friends through the exhibit.

There were plans for a glow-in-the-dark gallery and other fun surprises but when the pandemic hit, all those plans changed.  

Mendenhall and her students were understandably disappointed when it became clear they could not move forward with a physical exhibit. Instead, Mendenhall did what all good art teachers do, she got creative. She digitally scanned nearly 1,000 individual pieces of student artwork and uploaded them to the school's website, creating an online exhibit. She also recorded videos that showcased the artistic process for each project. 

"It was a huge hit," Mendenhall said. "I received feedback from both parents and students. They were all so happy with the result, as was I."

Read the rest of the story  here. Check out our archived articles on the  COCA blog.

Inspired 'Covideo'
July 1, 2020
Billy Penn is well known around Killearn Lakes Elementary School as the teacher with the coolest classroom.

Aside from its unique architectural features, it's bursting with artworks and life-sized caricatures of famous artists. He's also splashed his creativity onto several of the walls around campus and painted colorful murals for students and staff to enjoy. Penn is deeply connected to the physical space, but since the pandemic shuttered schools, he's expanded his footprint to the digital realm.  

During the two-week transition from in-person to online instruction, Penn developed his own YouTube channel and his "(co)VIDeo" series provides his art students with a sense of continuity. He recorded himself working through a variety of lessons for different grade levels.

Read the rest of the story  here. Check out our archived articles on the  COCA blog.

Resources for an Online Curriculum

Please share these resources with others and i f you've found resources that  could  help other  arts teachers, please  email them to Amanda Thompson at

Click here to visit our Pinterest page  for a huge, COCA curated list of creative, educational, and entertaining arts activities in all disciplines. These resources are  sure to keep little ones, tweens, and teens learning and growing artistically. 
NEA Grants for Organizations - Grants for Arts Projects (Deadline: July 9)
Grants for organizations support exemplary projects in artist communities, arts education, dance, design, folk and traditional arts, literary arts, local arts agencies, media arts, museums, music, musical theater, opera, presenting and multidisciplinary works, theater, and visuals arts.
Projects may be large or small, existing or new, and may take place in any part of the nation's 50 states, the District of Columbia, and U.S. territories. Projects may consist of one or more specific events or activities. More info  here .

Humanities Collections and Reference Resources Grant (Deadline: July 15)
The Humanities Collections and Reference Resources program supports projects that provide an essential underpinning for scholarship, education, and public programming in the humanities. This program strengthens efforts to extend the life of source materials such as books, manuscripts, and photographs, and make their intellectual content widely accessible, often through the use of digital technology.  More info  here.

The Mask Project (Deadline: July 20)
The mask is everywhere. Blank & anonymous, it appears as a constant reminder of the crisis we're all facing. And yet, the mask can be more than a piece of fabric: it can be a statement piece. The Curators are opening #THEMASKPROJECT to all painters, drawers, designers, stylists, inventors, poets and creators from all over the world.  The Competition is open to all, regardless of age or professional status. Click here for details. 

FAEA is Now Accepting Member Virtual Exhibition Artwork Submissions (Deadline: Sept. 8)
The purpose of the Member Virtual Exhibition is to provide the opportunity for members to participate in a statewide, juried competition of their peers. The Florida Art Education Association (FAEA) proudly sponsors this exhibition to foster and encourage our members as working artists and we celebrate their accomplishments!  Learn more and submit your artwork here

Call for Writers: Rattle Seeks Submissions By Children (Deadline: November 15)
Rattle Seeks Submissions By Children for their annual Young Poets Anthology-poets must be age 15 or younger. Poems may be submitted by the poet, or by the poet's parent/legal guardian, or teacher. Teachers may select at most five students per year and submit on their behalf. Rattle will be selecting up to 20 poems for their publication. More info here.

Interactive Academy/FAAE  Digital Media Room
The Florida Alliance for Arts Education and the Interactive Academy are making digital online platforms available to the arts community in an effort to restore some of the loss of revenue organizations are experiencing during the COVID 19 outbreak.  Learners of all ages will be able to take classes that are streamed to the privacy of your personal Digital Media Room (DMR). Instructional aides such as handouts and quizzes will also be available in the DMR. To learn  more about enrolling as a student or offering a live stream as a teacher, click here. 

Professional Development & Artistic Planning Grants (Deadline: Rolling)
Grants are available for organizations to support the professional development needs of Southern presenters, programmers, or curators, strengthen program design, and increase organizational capacity.  This funding can support staff's travel expenses to conferences, festivals, exhibitions, workshops, and other professional development opportunities, or artists' travel expenses for onsite planning meetings with presenting organizations. Click here to  learn  more. 

Awesome Tallahassee (Deadline: Rolling)

Each month Awesome Tallahassee awards a $1,000 grant to people doing awesome things in our community. If you have a great idea for the Tallahassee area apply for a grant today!
Click  here for more details.  


To learn about other opportunities and stimulus resources, visit the Classifieds section of COCA's Tallahassee Arts Guide

Professional Development
Florida Art Education Association (FAEA) Virtual ArtLabs
FAEA is hosting four virtual ArtLabs in July for members to learn, create, and earn professional development credit. Each ArtLab is $5 and will be a one-hour interactive workshop. 

ArtLab: Pocket Monuments: Mini Shrines for Major Figures in Florida History
Target Audience: Grades 4-12
July 16, 2020; 4:00PM - 5:00PM
Presenter: Dr. Sara Scott Shields

ArtLab: Beyond Traditional Batik
Target Audience: Grades 6-12
July 24, 2020; 10:00AM - 11:00AM
Presenter: Heather Hagy

ArtLab: Creative Collage
Target Audience: Grades 6-12
July 27, 2020; 3:00PM - 4:00PM
Presenter: Dr. Jackie Henson-Dacey

Visit the  FAEA website to learn more about each virtual ArtLab and register to participate. Spaces are limited.
Artie & Denise Online Odyssey 2020 (Deadline: July 20)
Register now for the Artie & Denise Online Odyssey 2020 and join the 200+ music educators already enrolled for this summer professional development opportunity! The format for this year's symposium will be an online Artie & Denise montage of their "greatest hits," featuring video footage from 10 years of their symposia. More info  here.
FAAE Announces New Dates for Annual Summit (September 18-20)
The Florida Alliance for Arts Education is glad to inform you that the 
2020 Annual Leadership Summit will not be cancelled. This gathering for professional development, award celebrations, and collaborations will still be held at the Westin Cape Coral at Marina Village (5951 Silver King Boulevard, Cape Coral, FL  33914).  All gathering areas are spacious, and safety measures will be put into place. FAAE is working on an option for those who cannot attend but would like to view the keynotes and breakouts session via live stream or video recordings. To learn more and register, click here

Arts Education is Essential Unified Statement

From the National Association for Music Education, on behalf of all performing arts. Click here to read and share. 
Open Letter to Superintendents, Principals, and School Board Members
"Visual Arts/Design Instruction for All Learners Is More Essential Than Ever" offered by the National Art Education Association. Click here  to  read and share. 
Around Town
New ONLINE content on Tallahassee Arts Guide 
Check out all the family-friendly, local, virtual offerings including events, classes, workshops, and lessons. Please visit us at to access our resources and to add your own arts-related listings.

Summer Camps on Tallahassee Arts Guide 
If you're looking for virtual or in-person arts summer camps, check out to access our list of camps. More are being added everyday so check back often. You can add your own arts-related listings too.

Sounds of Tallahassee - Call to Musicians
Vibrant and diverse, creative and innovative - Tallahassee's music community has long been one of our greatest assets. "Sounds of Tallahassee" serves as a portal to the unique musical offerings that make the Big Bend region so special. In partnership with Moose Magnificat Radio and Cat Family Records, COCA offers this auditory adventure. We invite you to be part of "Sounds of Tallahassee," an initiative that promotes area musicians and connects them with new audiences. Any musician living in a 100-mile radius of Tallahassee is eligible for this opportunity. More info  here

Art of the Box: Call for Artists (Deadline: July 24)
KCCI and The City of Tallahassee with support from COCA are piloting the Art of the Box project. The initiative will transform ordinary Traffic Control Boxes into works of art by local artists during Fall 2020 Placemaking Week. Interested artists are invited to submit original, inspired, and/or uplifting artwork. Artists younger than 18 years old must have a parent or guardian submit a letter of permission. Learn more by clicking here.

Call for Student Filmmakers (Call Opens: July 15; Deadline: Aug. 14)
The Northeast Leon Society for Arts & Culture (NELSAC) presents this contest for students residing in Leon County, so they may demonstrate their film making skills, while coping with the Covid-19 pandemic. Students attending kindergarten, elementary, middle, or high schools in the 2020-2021 school year are eligible to participate in the contest. Such schools include a Leon district school, home school, charter school, private school, and virtual school.  Click  here for more info. 
Seven Hills Literary Contest and Penumbra Poetry and Haiku Contest (D eadline: Aug. 31)
The Seven Hills Literary Contest is in its twenty-sixth year while the Penumbra Poetry Contest is in its thirty-third year. Both contests are open to writers of all skill levels and must be the original, unpublished work of the submitter. All judging is blind by professionally published authors. Penumbra judges are published, recognized poets. Winners are published in the Seven Hills Review the following year, usually by the end of March. See more here

Anhinga Press Offers Free Poetry Titles
Since 1974 the mission of  Anhinga Press has been to bring quality poetry to a broad audience by publishing poetry, sponsoring poetry events and educational activities, hosting and participating in writers festivals, working with area colleges, making our books available as textbooks for students, and networking with other arts organizations as a good citizen of the arts community and the community at large. In keeping with our mission, we are offering a diverse selection of our titles for free to educators, students, and community organizers, to help provide poetry to those who may not have easy access due to lack of funds. Click here for more info. 

The Florida Center for Reading Research (FCRR) Database
The Florida Center for Reading Research (FCRR) has added a powerful  new database  to its website. The new database pulls together over 650 materials from across the Center's numerous projects, grants, and contracts, and allows users to search available materials by resource type, project, audience, and age level.  Click  here for more info. 

Job Opportunities
Tallahassee Museum seeks a Preschool Manager
Our program allows the growing child to develop an understanding of and appreciation for their ever-expanding world through nature and history-based play and hands-on experiences in a 52-acre setting. Lessons are delivered in unique settings from the historic farmstead to hardwood hammocks to dry sinkholes, and cypress swamps, as well as in the classroom.  Candidates should be energetic, passionate, creative, and committed to instilling learning habits and developing the physical, mental, and social skills of our program's children. Find more details here

Levi Vickers receives his Student of the Month Award from Dr. Paul Ebbers
May 2020 Student of the Month- Levi Vickers
Graduating senior,  Levi Vickers was nominated fo  this  award by Robin Fennema, an administrator with the Tallahassee Youth Orchestra in Leon County, Florida for his outstanding musicianship, leadership and pure tenacity to rise above what seemed overwhelming  odds. Levi was recently diagnosed with bipolar disorder, ADHD and PTSD.
Levi's primary instrument is the tuba and he's racked up a laundry list of notable awards including 1st chair tuba in the FMEA All-State Honor Orchestra and the All-Distract Orchestra in 2020. Levi participated in his school's marching band and took home the coveted John Philip Sousa Award for leadership, determination, skill and musical promise and has served as an example and mentor to many.
The Arts4All Florida Student of the Month Program is designed to increase public awareness and recognize the impact arts make on students with disabilities statewide.  For more information about the Student of the Month program and others, please visit
Did You Know?
The great American composer John Philip Sousa wrote 135 marches in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Some of his greatest hits were among the first to be recorded and mass-produced as phonograph records, making Sousa's military band one of  the world's first bona fide recording stars.
Since Fourth of July patriotism has always been tied up with military pride, Sousa's marches were the de facto soundtrack of July 4 parades and celebrations. His best-loved marches include "The Washington Post" (1889), "Semper Fidelis" (1888), which has become the official march of the U.S. Marines, and the incomparable "The Stars and Stripes Forever" (1896) which became the official march of the United States in 1987.
About the Arts in Education Newsletter

Amanda Karioth Thompson
Assistant Director
Education & Exhibitions Manager
Council on Culture & Arts
phone: 850-224-2500
fax: 850-224-2515
To submit listings for COCA's Arts in Education Monthly Newsletter, send a description of 50 words or less to Amanda Karioth Thompson at COCA reserves the right to include or exclude any listing at its discretion and to determine the content and placement of all listings. Deadline for submission is 5:00pm on the fourth Monday of the month.
COCA does not endorse any artists, organizations, or programs listed herein, nor imply stature through their inclusion in this newsletter. While we have made every effort to insure that this information is correct, we cannot guarantee the accuracy, completeness, or timeliness of the information.