On Monday, I visited the Arts Academy in Visual Art & Drama in Lawrenceburg. Forty teachers were creating journals for use in the visual arts classes with Pat Ritter, and learning about the elements of drama through a variety of warm up exercizes and theatre games led by Jeremy Kisling (Education Director of Lexington Children's Theatre). Jane Dewey, coordinator of this Academy gave participants award-winning KET Toolkits in drama and visual arts. On Tuesday, it was off to Somerset for an Arts Academy in Music & Dance, with artists Gregory Acker (music) and Harlina Churn-Diallo (dance) and coordinator Judy Sizemore. Greg introduced teachers to the elements of music using a variety of percussion instruments and they formed small groups to create and perform short sound stories. Harlina taught a traditional West African dance that is taught to 13 year old boys and girls as part of their initiation into adulthood in the community. The teachers at both sites were very willing to dive in try new approaches to arts education. It is especially gratifying to see teachers grow and to hear them talk about how much this PD impacts their teaching.
We are really fortunate in this state to have a terrific group of artist educators.
Phil Shepherd, from the Kentucky Department of Education presented about the new accountability model being developed to replace the CATS testing in the Arts & Humanities after Senate Bill 1.
Next week, the Kentucky Center will present Arts Academies in Stanton and Madisonville.