Many people believe that the arts are leaving the curriculum of many public school districts today. That belief couldn’t be farther from the truth in the Bucyrus City Schools.
The school district, in cooperation with the Ohio Arts Council, is one of thirteen throughout the state
participating in the TeachArtsOhio initiative. The program started during the 2015-2016 school year, and is funded through the Ohio Arts Council who receives its funding from State of Ohio’s biennial budget and the National Endowment for the Arts.
“The TeachArtsOhio initiative provides arts education opportunities for students by pairing teachers and professional teaching artists in residencies that convene from one semester to a full school year,” said Ohio Arts Council Executive Director Donna Collins. “The professional teaching artists collaborate with students, teachers, and community members through in-depth experiences that focus on the creative process of art making, aligned to academic content standards, in all arts disciplines.”
The TeachArtsOhio initiative brings schools and community organizations together with artists to share comprehensive, engaging, personal, and sustained arts learning experiences.
“The Ohio Arts Council has a long history of supporting arts education in- and out-of-school, and we believe that arts education is at the very foundation of learning for all students,” said Collins. “Initiatives like TeachArtsOhio help us better understand the needs that teachers and administrators have when they seek to supplement the arts learning that is taking place in their schools.”
Professional teaching artists Vicki Murphy, Nancy Kangas, Hal Walker, Patricia Meeks, and Dan Meeks are working with students in Bucyrus bringing their artistic and creative skills in visual art, creative writing, and music to make a positive impact in the classroom with students and teachers alike.
“This is such a great opportunity for the Bucyrus City Schools and we would like to thank the Ohio Arts Council for bringing the TeachArtsOhio initiative to Bucyrus, we appreciate all of the support they have provided us,” said visual art teacher Patrick Moore. “Vicki Murphy, our teaching artist, has been educating the elementary students about her passion for mosaic artwork every Tuesday, and she teaches the 2nd-5th graders about artistic techniques, how to use specific art mediums, sharing a new arts vocabulary, and providing an introduction to artists that work in the world of mosaics.”
The Ohio Arts Council is investing in arts education through local partnerships with teachers, students, teaching artists, school administrators, and local organizations and businesses in ways that support closing the achievement gap and increasing student engagement in and through the arts.
“Our poet-in-residence, Nancy Kangas, has a wonderful way with students, and she has created a safe, creative, writing-friendly environment,” said high school English teacher Shannon Henize. “Students look forward to seeing her every Monday, and they are writing some beautiful poems and are learning more about themselves and freely sharing their poems with their classmates and teachers. This is a positive and rewarding experience for all of us, and the credit goes to Ms. Kangas.”
“I want to thank the Ohio Arts Council for this tremendous program,” said Bucyrus Superintendent Kevin Kimmel. “Our students and teachers have already benefitted greatly from the TeachArtsOhio initiative by gaining new knowledge and expertise, and we are starting to see great results throughout the district.”