Academy offers chance to help kids excel in art

Artistic intent

Posted: Thursday, June 06, 2002

The idea that art is an integral part of education, culture and society is one that is a central theme to the Arts Education Academy.

The academy, presented by the Alaska Alliance for Arts Education is a weeklong series of classes and performances geared toward arts educators, although anyone interested can take the classes.

It will be held Monday through June 14 at Kenai Peninsula College.

"Integrating the Arts With Integrity" is the theme of this academy, the fifth to be held at KPC. The focus this year will be "Making Connections: Cross-Cultural Literacy Throughout the Arts."

The academy's art education programs support the belief that the role of the arts in learning is fundamental to language acquisition, creative thinking and an educated imagination.

The classes offered as part of the academy are designed for nonart specialists, as well as those certified in the arts. Several one-credit classes will be offered that focus on teaching the arts standards for each of the arts content areas -- dance, literary arts, music, theater and visual arts.


"Lethe River," a toned silver print by Gary Freeburg.

Classes are held in morning, afternoon and evening sessions. Morning classes from 8:30 a.m. to noon are "Arts Standards: Integrating Art with Science, Language Arts, Math and Social Studies" taught by Celia Anderson; "Dance in America" taught by Dr. Patty Yancey; and "Storytelling, Literary Arts and Culture" taught by Carol Ford.

Afternoon classes from 1 to 4:30 p.m. are "Arts Standards: Integrating Arts in Every Classroom" taught by Nancy Lafferty and Sue Biggs; and "Arts Standards: Celebrating Cultural Diversity" taught by Cathleen Rolph.

Evening classes from 4:30 to 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday are "ArtFul Minds: Uncovering Cross-Cultural Resources on the Web" taught by Berni Wensley; and "Cultural Standards: Arts, Humanities and Culture" taught by Mike Morgan.

Some classes are still open and anyone interested can sign up Monday morning at KPC.

Along with the classes, the academy offers several public performances. The performances are free and open to the public at KPC. Tuesday events are Mike Morgan performing "Words and Music" at 10 a.m.; Kathleen Balsemo exploring a "poetry slam" at 2 p.m.; and performance artist Jose Torres-Tama will give a performance exploring the effect television has on race relations and the mythology of the American Dream through performance art, bilingual poetry and the visual arts.

On Wednesday, Torres-Tama will develop the concept of cross-cultural literacy through the arts at 10 a.m. and Linda Thompson will discuss her son, Eric Behnke, who is an artistically gifted savant with Downe's Syndrome.


"Foliage," a graphite drawing by Gary Freeburg.

On Thursday, Maria Allison will perform "Cultural Contrasts," a piano concert at 10 a.m. Other performances will be given throughout the week for academy participants.

Also in conjunction with the academy is a photography and drawing exhibit at KPC by Gary Freeburg titled "Images of the Katmai: The Valley of Ten Thousand Smokes." the exhibit will be on display through July 15.

A children's academy will be offered starting June 17. For more information about the academy, call Debbie Harris at 283-7663.

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