Sunday, January 29, 2017

Weekly Artful Advocacy 'Fabulous Five' - #2

2017 is one month old.  Here are this week's 'Fabulous Five' - five terrific ideas to liven up February, as we move closer to Youth Art Month.  Many high schools have a Senior Night/Spirit Week during this time, and some of the great ideas listed here could be used as a guaranteed way to energize the celebrations!  Or if there's no Spirit Week or Senior Night, use ideas #1 & #2 to enliven an otherwise ordinary week of school.
  • 1) Do a Stop Drop & Draw - everyone in the school - for 15 minutes.  Entire school (and staff) display their work! 
  • 2) So You Think You Can Draw Challenge - do this by grade level/class challenge/faculty and staff challenge.
  • 3) Invite local artists to YAM openings - make them honorary chairpersons.  (Line these folks up now!)
  • 4) If your community has an electronic billboard for community events, see if they can scan in a piece of student artwork to promote YAM as it approaches, or to promote one of the school-wide arts events listed here.
  •  5) Create a famous cutout of a work of art (the Mona Lisa, The Scream, or American Gothic perhaps).   Have photos taken of kids in the cutout for $1, and donate proceeds to a local charity.  Be sure the cutout has the YAM logo on it!  You can do this at school events.  Better yet, bring it out into the community!! (Here's a pic of me taken in one such Scream cutout at a school art show a couple of years ago.)

Monday, January 23, 2017

Start your week with the Art Advocacy Fab Five!

1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5  I'm introducing a new feature on the blog today!  Every Sunday night I will be posting an "Art Advocacy Fab Five" - five easy tips for the week, (or a tip each work day), to help you get through your work-week while keeping advocacy at the forefront!  A big Thank You to Donnalyn Shuster, a regular contributor to this blog and a fellow member of our NYSATA Advocacy Committee, for contributing the content for today's and the upcoming 'Fab Five' posts.   Here we go!!

Second semester is on the horizon. Beat the midwinter blues with some energizing projects and proven strategies to build awareness, involve stakeholders and put some fun into serious program promotion!  

1 Famous Art Quotes - Have students create posters based on famous art quotes.  Use traditional media or Photoshop.

2 On My Own Time - Host a school-wide exhibition of creative efforts by students, faculty and staff (include your BOE and parent groups).  Host an 'opening reception' so that all of the stakeholders in your community can gather to discuss the role of art in their personal lives!  (Unity Through Art!)

3 Unity Through Art - use the YAM national theme, and pose these questions to your students: How can they best illustrate this theme?  How have the visual arts brought people together?  What is the power of the visual image?  Tie it in with middle and high school social studies classes - the power of images to unite or to motivate! involve other student organizations in this project - how to use a "school community" art project to bring everyone together..

4 Add some fun and challenge to PE classes - have students design and construct a 'miniature golf course' 6 hole challenge - and host a mini-tournament.  Get the staff involved also!  With permission, post about it on your school website, and/or write a story about it for your local newspaper. 
5 Create your own Manikin Challenge for the arts and post it on your school web page (with permission).

Saturday, January 7, 2017

10 Easy Youth Art Month Strategies

  • Ask your principal to sign a Youth Art Month Endorsement CertificateAsk your mayor and/or superintendent to sign a Youth Art Month Proclamation. Display them prominently in your school office or lobby.  Print the forms out HERE if you are in NY state.  Don't forget to send in your documentation!
  • Create a bulletin board in honor of Youth Art Month.  You can include the 2017/2017 theme (United through Art) or the new 5-year official national theme adopted by the Council for Art Education (Art Builds Bridges) or both!  Or you can devise your own theme as long as it honors student artists and art in our schools.  If you are in NY state, send in a jpeg photo of your bulletin board.
  •  If your school has an art show this month, include the Youth Art Month logo in the signage and promotional materials.  Download the YAM logo HERE.  
  • Arrange to have art highlighted in your school's daily announcements through the month of March.  You could have art quotes read, or announce an "artist of the day"- it could be a student artist or a famous artist.  Let your state know what you did!
  • Announce Youth Art Month on your school website.  Again, let your state know what you did! 
  • Team up with language arts teachers to have students write statements about what art means to them, why art class is important, or what their favorite art experience has been... or write letters to public officials about the importance of art in our schools.  
  • Ask a local business (or two or three or more) to support Youth Art Month by programming receipt printers to include a simple statement, such as "March is Youth Art Month... Support Art in ______ Schools" or by displaying student art for the public to enjoy.  
  • Issue certificates of appreciation to parents who support your school art program, thanking them for being a "Friend of the Art Department".   Use the template on the NYSATA website, or create one of your own -- or have a student design it!
  •  Document, document, document!  Let your YAM co-chairs know whatever you do - big or small - to acknowledge and promote Youth Art Month so it can be included in your state's reports.