Tuesday, April 28, 2009

School one of 10 nationwide and only facility in Alabama chosen to participate in John F. Kennedy Performing Arts Center program

I am thrilled to share that Foley Middle School in Baldwin County is one of 10 nationwide and the only facility in Alabama chosen to participate in John F. Kennedy Performing Arts Center program.

Educators at Foley Middle School are being given a rare opportunity this week to showcase a unique art curriculum. The school was chosen as one of 10 across the nation — and the only school in Alabama — to participate in a program sponsored by the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, a Washington, D.C.-based educational facility that is administered by the Smithsonian Institution.

The students are creating a documentary about Fairhope artist Ricky Trione, a blind painter who visits students and demonstrates his ability to create visual art.

I have had the privilege of collaborating with Ricky Trione and Vicky Cook (Baldwin County Fine Arts and Media Supervisor) as they share art, character and special education ideas with preservice teachers at the University of South Alabama. I have presented with them at the Troy Alabama Art Summit and most recently at the National Art Education Association Conference in Minneapolis.

A bus, described by Kennedy Center officials as "a media studio on wheels" and manned by a three-person team of theater and media professionals, is at the school from April 21 through May 1. YOU can read updates at the Road Diary site. The documentary is part of a grant that will give the school a media lab consisting of a computer, digital editing software, camera, sound recording equipment and accessories, valued at an estimated $5,000; $1,000 for the school to support the project; curriculum materials to develop media projects about the arts; and training for teachers and students.

The documentary being created by the students will be showcased on http://www.artsedge.org/onlocation/ according to Donna Russell, executive director of the Alabama Alliance for Arts Education.

Baldwin County schools Fine Arts Director Vicky Cook said the school was chosen because of the application written by Foley Middle's librarian Sue Norman and the novelty of Trione's presentations.

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