Why would 75 teachers devote an entire week to teaching subjects not tested on the ISAT? Perhaps because they understand that social and emotional growth can best be achieved through the arts. Learning to incorporate the arts into the general elementary classroom is essential, and perhaps more important today than ever. Into this scenario enters ArtsPowered Schools Summer Institute 2005.

Ten teams of 6-10 teachers gathered at the Albertson College of Idaho campus and delved into creative activities, such as making monochromatic table sculpture centerpieces with “found” objects during opening events. They listened to Korean singers and dancers and attended the Idaho Shakespeare Festival for a performance of “She Stoops to Conquer.” The key to firsthand artistic experience, in the ArtsPowered mode, lies in the active involvement of the participant, whether teacher or elementary child.

Arts Powered Schools 2005
In 2005, each day began with a keynote address by nationally-recognized arts educator, Deb Brzoska, who jumpstarted teachers’ thinking about integrating the arts into the general curriculum and gave ideas on how to assess such learning. Teachers then moved into art tracks, attending studio sessions on printmaking, ceramics, drama, and dance. All the art studio sessions emphasized how to incorporate techniques and processes learned during the week into the classroom. The state humanities standards formed the framework for all teaching and learning during ArtsPowered Schools. A unique feature of the 2005 Institute centered on eight artist residencies given to the first eight schools to register a team for the week. Throughout the Institute, eight Idaho Commission on the Arts rostered artists met with their respective teams to devise a residency that would fit the curriculum for each school. Each school reported on the ArtsPowered website following the completion of its residency project.

Some of the comments from the 2005 attendees:

“I am definitely an advocate for ArtsPowered Schools. I will speak to other teachers at my school . . . to see if we can bring our own team next year. Thanks again for a great class. I left feeling like an ‘artist’!” (Trina Ciocca)

“This was a very engaging and useful workshop. I am excited to use these ideas in my classroom. Thanks.” (Laura Galey)

“I would like to tell you how much I enjoyed the ArtsPowered Summer Institute. I learned so much and got a much-needed ‘shot in the arm’ for teaching in general. . . . Your hard work was very evident. I would love to let people know how valuable this program is (in fact, I intend to attend it each year from now on.” (Tamela Johns)

“I would just like to say ‘thanks’ for the great time I had at the ArtsPowered Summer Institute. You were a great host! Most importantly, I learned a great deal about how to incorporate the arts into core lessons and am very anxious to use what I learned. I am really excited to try out the lessons and am already thinking how to use what I learned. . ..” (Chris Hiroto)