Student celebration caps ArtWell, Rhoads 2015/2016 program year

ArtWell, Rhoads Elementary Student Celebration: A Culmination of a Year of Deep Work and Partnership through the Arts

Throughout the 2015-2016 school year an amazing team of ArtWell teaching artists worked intensively with third and fourth grade students at James Rhoads Elementary School through poetry, percussion, visual art and theater. The program’s culminating performance and celebration on Wednesday, June 1, included examples of improvisation activities and poetry which students created as a MasterPeace project through funding from a Teacher and Artist Partnership (TAP) grant provided by the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts (PCA).

Teaching artist Blew Kind, and in collaboration with visual artist Joe Brenman, worked with students on introductory and advanced collage, portrait and composition skills visible in the art exhibits surrounding the auditorium stage at the West Philadelphia school. Journals and poetry were also put on display from We the Poets workshops led by ArtWell teaching artists Adina Shapiro, Jac Alyanakian and ArtWell Education Director Cathleen Cohen. Guest artists Marcy Francis and Jan Jeffries led several students in percussion while another group of students settled into a KouKou, a West African celebratory dance. Yolanda Wisher, currently Philadelphia’s third poet laureate, also worked with ArtWell and Rhoads students during the program’s 2015 fall semester.

The mission of Rhoads Elementary is to provide a learning community united in its commitment to ensure a safe, nurturing, and literate environment for children and adults. As a facilitator and advocate of arts education and creative reflection for young students across Philadelphia, ArtWell is proud to partner with Rhoads Elementary and contribute to its efforts in building a community of diverse learners.

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