This year, the Art Works@School team is expanding partnerships with our surrounding community to bring our local resources into the heart of our curriculum. We feel strongly that by using our community as a classroom we can develop the connections between our students and the Gateway Arts District to produce some of the most culturally relevant programming yet.
What does it mean to incorporate the community into our classes? It means local chefs teaching fun nutritious lessons in our classrooms, students visiting urban farms for our gardening program, and regular classroom visits from local visual artist, dancers, steppers, musicians and poets.
We are excited to be working with organizations such as the Taratibu Youth Association. This dynamic organization will provide hands on learning experiences that will explore social justice issues that affect our community on cultural topics. With the Taratibu Youth Association students will participate in movement classes to learn traditional African steps and songs that shed light on African American history.
We are really digging into our new programming with curriculum that combines visual arts, gardening, culinary arts, movement and play. As part of our new programming we are working to provide nutrition education to teach children where our food comes from and how to healthfully prepare it, to get more exercise in the day and live harmoniously with the planet. Our young artists will explore farming, composting, and growing plants and produce. We are also working with local chefs who will periodically teach lessons on food, art, and nutrition.
We are proud to have such a strong team of visual art teachers, who are constantly thinking up exciting new projects. By working with various specialists in our community we believe that we are enriching our arts programming and providing innovative experiences that support what students learn during the school day.
It is said that it takes a village to raise a child. We are grateful for the wealth of knowledge in ours, and the generosity of our community members for their willingness to share their wisdom with our students.
Nehemiah Dixon III holds a BFA from the Maryland Institute College of Art. He has been a teaching artist in the Gateway Arts District for the past five years. Art Works Now celebrates our great fortune of working with Nehemiah as our Managing Director as we look forward to the exciting opportunities of the coming years.