Art Aware has made many connections during its 24 years of existence.
Those connections have helped me to implement trips for inner city students to the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, the Academy of Music, the Kimmel Center and to the Whitney Museum of Art in New York City. I have connections that I've maintained to schools in Tokyo and Honolulu from teaching there in the sixties and seventies - but haven't been able to come up with the funding to take students there physically, much as I'd like to!
Instead, Art Aware takes inner city students around the world through reproductions of art, as Art Goes to School (AGTS) volunteers do in suburban schools. Working with full time art teachers in dozens of schools in Philadephia and in Camden we have initiated art work from hundreds, no, thousands, of children, and put it into murals for display, in order to emphasis the importance of art in elementary education.
We support art-teacher-initiated work in our yearly Camden Students at Peace Doing Art poster.
On our website (http://www.artaware.org), and on my Blog (http://artaware.wordpress.com), I have links to artwork from kids around the world. Inner city children are multicultural by virtue of where they live. It is exciting to see it brought out in their creative endeavors.
For many years Sylvia Farrey and I were co-chairs of the Children's Concerts, sponsored by the Camden County Branch of AAUW. She died suddenly this year. I so miss our collaboration. She would take care of the fund raising for taking 25 children, parents and teachers to the five subscription series every year. I would take care of choosing the schools. Sometimes my Art Aware and AAUW hats would become one when, before the concert, we got the children to listen and draw pictures to a CD of the music the Philadelphia Orchestra would be playing.
In 2010, Art Aware sponsored a busload of 8th graders from Urban Promises' Camden Forward School to see The Lion King. They were so well-versed before the performance, listening to the music and studying Julie Taymor's artistry. The same art teachers, Julie Kring-Schreifels and Karen Baker, prepared students for a trip to the Picasso Exhibition at the PMA which Art Aware made possible. You can see the students' artwork which resulted from those trips on Blogs from March 2, April 18 and May 5, 2010.
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June 8, 2010