Long winter days need some special events built in to move them along. These ideas lend themselves perfectly to classroom curriculum, build the concept of teamwork and planning, and can become great advocacy PR pieces for the local newspaper. The old saying "You have to be a hero in your community first" is so true in art advocacy!
Valentine's Day excitement have you feeling blue rather than red? Create a school-wide UNITY event based on the work of Jim Dine and his Hearts series in multiple media for K-5. Tie right in with PE, as may schools celebrate Heart Month with different event challenges. Dovetail with classroom teachers talking about the need for good nutrition and organize a healthy snack day for all. Need ideas? Check out Pinterest under Jim Dine (click here) to find some exciting lessons. Here are direct links to a couple of heart project ideas at There's a Dragon in my Art Room: click here and here.
Hungry for more? Older students (grades 6-12) can do the Empty Bowls project and join forces with community food banks in raising money. Tie in a nutrition study with Family and Consumer Science classes and have local grocery stores donate dried soup ingredients to package up in Ziploc Bags to be auctioned off with bowls (if you cannot do the actual meal event). To find more info, click here.
Partner with neighboring school district and set up a traveling art show - 5 to 6 pieces that move from school to school. Great way to collaborate for the arts, and showcase not only your own students, but also those in your area.
Using the food theme, combined with a study of Andy Warhol, do a community service canned soup food drive. Use Warhol's Soup Can series and the theme "You CAN make a difference", plus a sculptural installation of the donations (in a safe area, of course), plus recognition for those who contribute, and help stock up the local food pantry at a time of the year when things may be scarce. Involve your Art Club, Honor Society, Student Council, or K-Kids (Kiwanis organization for younger students).
Budget time, for many, is getting close. Schedule a time slot at the next Board of Education meeting and share with them the interdisciplinary value of art, and how you are preparing students with valuable 21st century skills. Bring students along with examples of their work, and invite all of your parents who supported the program!