Youth In Arts San Rafael logo

917 "C" Street
San Rafael, California 94901
(415) 457-4878
yia@youthinarts.org

Teaching Counter Narratives Through the Arts

Youth in Arts’ Mentor Artist Eddie Madril taught counter narratives to a group of Marin County teachers by sharing his experience as a member of the Native American community.

Madril is part of the Pascua Yaqui tribe of southern Arizona and northern Sonora Mexico and represents his culture as a dancer, singer, teacher, playwright and filmmaker. During his presentation, teachers experienced history differently and learned how to make a corn husk figure (not a doll). Madrid talked about how important it is to understand multiple perspectives, including how tribes historically cared for and respected the land where they lived and did not consider it something that could be bought and sold. He also explained that if there is only one student in a class who is Native, for example, that student should not be singled out or made to represent all Native American people. Teachers ended the day with a hoop dance.

“It’s critical for teachers to be able to hear counter-narratives to expand their teaching to reach all learners,” said Youth in Arts’ Executive Director Miko Lee. “It’s through these culturally responsive teaching practices that our students can learn about the world that we live in with a more balanced perspective.”

Madril has taught American Indian music at San Francisco State University and was a three-year recipient of the California Arts Council Artist-In-Residence grant. As a dancer and educator, he has performed throughout the western United States, including the San Francisco Ethnic Dance Festival and World Arts West’s arts education program People Like Me. He works with students to encourage the appreciation of and respect for American Indian dance, music, culture, history, art and sign language.

To review the hands-outs and suggested readings, go here.

Youth in Arts worked with the Marin County Office of Education to provide professional development courses like these. We are proud to announce a generous grant from the California Arts Council to provide for Eddie Madrill’s Assembly Performance and Workshops for Title 1 schools whose teachers attended the counter narrative training. Thanks also to Marin Community Foundation for supporting our work.

STEM to STEAM

On June 13 and 14th Youth in Arts staff Suzanne Joyal and Miko Lee trained 60 self identified STEM (Science Technology Engineering and Math) teachers from the Marin County Office of Education on how to incorporate the ARTS into their curriculum. Teachers met in hour long grade level groups. They were led through a group brainstorm of their particular topic. They were then shown an example of a finished project and then led through the exercise which was connected to to address a grade level performance expectation. At the end of each session there was a gallery display and discussion utilizing Visual Thinking Strategies which are also employed by the STEM teachers. They were provided with lesson plans that note the links to the Next Generation Science Standard, the National Art Standard and Youth in Arts own Creative Expression standard.

Thank you for contributing your strengths in the arts to make this workshop meaningful and engaging for the participants. The teachers shared how they plan to use these art lessons with their students and how much they appreciated seeing how art can deepen student understanding in science.–Christina Lunde and Eileen Smith, Marin Next Generation Collaborative

For information on how you can book this professional development for your school site click here, where a link to lesson plans can also be found.

Please check out the attached photo gallery to see the work in action. Thanks to Christina Lunde for some of the photos.

How can we use what we create to inspire YOUTH and COMMUNITY?

Message to Our Community

Mentor Artist K-Dub Williams has designed a year-long project with the teachers of Willow Creek Academy which will culminate in PSA’s by “Elder Avatars” (unique masks created by each teacher). The first Professional Development Workshop explored answering the question “How can we use what we create to inspire Youth and Community?”

We began with theater exercises designed to engage the whole body in the creative process. Teachers were asked to think of a word that represented the superpower their own personal superhero might possess: Listening, Strength, Caring, Inspiration.

When people were warmed up, we moved on to visual arts and began to brainstorm on our “Elder Avatar”. How do we design our masks to visually represent the characteristics of our personal character? First, we worked in paper. We practiced patterns, symmetry, cutting, and attaching pieces securely.

Next time, we move into cardboard and plaster.

Large ears represent a good listener.

Creating a Community SuperHero: Expressing character and a positive message through physical movements.

Collaborating to Create a Tableau Vivant: each person's pose represented the word they contributed to the group's message.

Williow Creek/Bayside Elem. -Professional Development

YIA teaching artists Marguerite Etemad & K-Dub lead another great spirited Professional Development workshop. This time Contour drawing was lesson. Teachers from Willow Creek Academy & Bayside Elem. participated by drawing a fun funky still-life. There was great energy all around and teachers were surprised by their creations and the work of their peers.

Contour drawing, is an artistic technique used in the field of art in which the artist sketches the contour of a subject by drawing lines that result in a drawing that is essentially an outline; the French word contour meaning, “outline.” The purpose of contour drawing is to emphasize the mass and volume of the subject rather than the detail; the focus is on the outlined shape of the subject and not the minor details. However, because contour can convey a three-dimensional perspective, length and width as well as thickness and depth are important; not all contours exist along the outlines of a subject. This technique is manifested in different styles and practiced in the honor of drawing development.

Community Quilt Workshops

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Youth in Arts is partnering with Alameda County Arts Commission to provide a series of free workshops at your school site in developing a Community Quilt.  To celebrate Arts Education Month Youth in Arts professional artists will come to your Parent and/or Teacher meeting in March to lead a one-hour training in a community paper quilt technique which can be displayed on the school site. The paper quilt is made out of recycled materials and created on site.

The theme is “Creating A Better Future Together” and then can be geared toward the unique goals of each site.  Information about follow up activities will be provided. To arrange your workshop email yia@youthinarts.org or phone us at 415-457-4878.

We will also be creating a collaborative quilt collage in our Gallery in downtown San Rafael as part of our new exhibit “Where We Are,” which opens March 9 and features landscape watercolors by local students. Visit with your family  Monday – Friday from 10am – 4pm or make an appointment for a free docent-led visit with your class or youth group.

 

Parent Training in Castro Valley

Suzanne Joyal and Nydia Gonzalez travelled to Castro Valley to offer a hands-on workshop to parents of the Castro Valley Parents Cooperative Preschool. The one-hour workshop introduced parents to a multitude of strategies to introduce preschoolers to art.

We both arrived wearing our FAVORITE piece of preschool jewelry: the mini-harmonica is always a hit!


We asked the question “How do we use our senses when we create?” and then explored first-hand techniques to help children experiment and explore this fundamental question.
Parents were able to create Sticky Texture Collages using contact paper, many different shapes and textures of fabric, special crayons to draw on all different textures, and magic gold.
We created a Word Wall of all of the wonderful ideas we explored: sticky, smooth, shiny, furry, scratchy, etc. Nydia introduced music and movement when she asked “How does Scratchy SOUND?” “How do we does bumpy look when we move?”

“Kind of Blue” Professional Development

Professional development at Willow Creek Academy

Teachers enjoy a great collaborative painting session.

At Willow Creek-Professional Development gets creative!

Teachers enjoy a creative painting project giving them tools and skills for future classroom beautification projects. Teachers were grouped by grade levels asked to come up with a phrase or slogan, brainstorm & sketch ideas, then given materials and a basic banner.sign and painting lesson. Great upful positive energy!

Professional development

Teachers working it out!

Artist Dinner

The arts are not something to add to the plate.

The arts ARE the plate.

The key to student engagement.

And communicating what student know and can do.

– Dr. Milton Chen, Edutopia

Recently the Youth in Arts Mentor Artists came together for our yearly September orientation and dinner. It was an evening filled with passionate discussions about why arts education matters and the impact it can have on students, schools, and communities.

These professional artists represent a wide array of backgrounds, talents, and disciplines. During the orientation the artists go to know each other through hands-on experiences that incorporated music, dance, theater, and visual arts. As a group they discussed strategies for building multiple learning modalities into their school residencies. They also investigated the language of state standards and considered how the arts overlap all content areas. To get to know our Mentor Artists, please browse the Youth in Arts website.

Older Entries »