"It was so helpful being a student for a change!" commented a SPARK! Teaching Artist following the most recent professional development course provided for local artists.
We truly believe that "Arts Ignite Learning," and Missoula teaching artists fanned the creative flames in Missoula County Public Schools through 101 arts integrated residencies over the past year. Artists who work with SPARK! understand that there is always something new to learn, and schools value guest artists who are knowledgeable about teaching pedagogy along with their art forms. SPARK! requires teaching artists to hone their teaching game by participating in at least one professional development opportunity each year.
This summer, teaching artists delved deeply into residency and lesson planning, standards-based education, classroom management, and accessibility and support for all students.
The most recent artist training was "Artists as Educators: Refining Your Practice" facilitated by Kennedy Center teaching artist Randy Barron. During the month of August, local teaching artists, educators, and instructional coaches developed a local training addressing evaluated needs. In June, Kennedy Center educator Karen Erickson led artists in a two-day workshop "Mapping the Journey: Planning Effective Residencies" developed by the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Washington, D.C.
Classroom teachers are the glue that holds SPARK! programs together, welcoming teaching artists into their rooms and integrating an ever-larger repertoire of art forms into their daily lesson plans.
In turn, SPARK! helps provide these teachers with the specialized training needed to truly integrate the arts into the classroom.
All K-8 MCPS classroom teachers have now completed the "Laying a Foundation: Defining Arts Integration" seminar developed by The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.
Last year, teachers had opportunities to grow through arts-specific integration training as well. Twenty teachers participated in dance integration training, and 24 teachers completed a theatre integration and creative dramatics course. Two SPARK! liaison teachers attended The Kennedy Center Arts Integration Conference in June.
This September, 3rd and 6th grade MCPS teachers learned how to integrate creative movement into science instruction during Scientific Thought in Motion taught by Randy Barron. This workshop was developed in association with the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and is partially underwritten by the U.S. Department of Education and the National Committee for the Performing Arts. Teachers can translate many basic concepts in science into meaningful, self-assessing movement activities that put abstract ideas into tangible, visible form. Participants learn the elements of dance and how those elements relate to scientific content within lessons that engage students in movement. A teacher commented that the course, "Opened my eyes to ways that dance can be used in the classroom." Another participant said that, "The ideas are definitely transferable across many curriculum areas."
Teachers throughout Missoula have earned their master's degrees through the Creative Pulse Graduate Program at the University of Montana. The Creative Pulse is a premiere program in the nation for integrated arts and education.
Professional development will continue to play an important role in ensuring that arts are an effective and integral aspect of education in Missoula. Notably, SPARK! is partnering with UM Arts, MCPS, Montana Arts Council, and the Montana Office of Public Instruction to offer a statewide Arts Integration Conference this June where teachers, artists, administrators, and community members will join together to learn and expand arts in education.
Coming this Summer! Arts Transform Communities: The Montana Arts Integration Conference
June 27-29, 2018 we are hosting a state-wide conference on Arts Integration. The conference will take place on The University of Montana campus for an audience of educators, administrators, teaching artists, community leaders, creative thinkers and policy makers - people like yourself! Sponsored by UM Arts, MCPS and SPARK! Arts we are joined by our conference partners Montana Art Council and OPI. Missoula now has more arts integration happening than ever before and we wish to share what's happening with new school teams and new teaching artists. The conference will feature the work of Montana teachers and artists as well as arts integration experts from around the country.
We hope you will block out these dates to join us - June 27-29, 2018. Application to offer a session: click Here! (proposals due Nov 7) Conference Postcard: click Here! Conference Website, click Here!
SPARK! Teaching Artists earn electronic badges for participation in professional development. Community Members can see which artists have been ignited by each training by looking for the training badges at the bottom of artist profiles on the SPARK! website
October Teaching Artist Residencies
This month, teaching artists were very active in Missoula Schools! Specifically, teaching artist Lulu Delphine did a series of photography residencies in 8th grade Language Arts classrooms at CS Porter Middle School.
Also, two of our other wonderful teaching artists, Heather Adams and Carla Getz were very involved at CS Porter Middle School through dance & visual arts integration.
The 2017-2018 school year has gotten off to a great start and we look forward to what the rest of the year has in store!
Meredith Monk // UM College of Visual and Performing Arts
November 3rd & 4th, 7:30pm & 9:30pm
[Performances located at University Congregational Church] Composer, Singer & Director, Meredith Monk will be working with UM Chamber Chorale and UM Theatre & Dance in "Meredith Monk - A Celebration Service". For tickets and more info click Here!
Share your SPARK! for the Arts
SPARK! would love to hear your art story! How did you come to find your SPARK! for the arts? We hope that by sharing individual's personal stories about how the arts have impacted them, we can help shine a light on the importance of the arts as a whole.
Feel free to respond to the prompts on our website by following
THIS LINK! After we receive entries we will post select stories on our website "News" page and Facebook page!