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On the blog: Nagase brings teaching artists program to local schools

July 9, 2013
by Anna Huntington, community arts coordinator for The Sculpture Project

If you are a visual artist in the Rapid City area, please consider applying to a new teaching artist program coming to local elementary schools in spring 2014.

The Rapid City Arts Council is partnering with The Sculpture Project to launch Teaching Artist Program and is seeking artists to be part of the program with training beginning this fall.

The program is entirely funded by the sculptor, Masayuki Nagase, through The Sculpture Project: Passage of Wind and Water. While researching the region for his proposal for the project, Nagase learned that there is no formal visual arts education in local elementary schools. He included funding for TAP through the course of his work in Rapid City in his proposal as part of his community outreach strategy.

The program is being developed in cooperation with the Rapid City school district. TAP artists will travel to classrooms for weekly, one-hour sessions. Lessons will meet the South Dakota state education requirements for visual art fundamentals and will be tied to Passage of Wind and Water. The lessons will focus on Masayuki Nagase’s nature-inspired visual themes and his creative process of observation, reflection and abstraction. TAP artists will collaborate with classroom instructors to refine lessons to fit each classroom’s curricula.

 “Art is a catalyst for learning,” Naomi Even-Aberle, TAP administrator and co-director of education for RCAC said. “We know from research that integrating arts instruction into the school day heightens students’ engagement with their education across subjects.”

A pilot will start up in Wilson and South Canyon elementary schools in Rapid City and in the Lakota Waldorf school in Kyle, S.D. beginning spring 2014. TAP is scheduled to expand in following years.

TAP is modeled on a similar program run by the Museum of Children’s Art in Oakland, Calif.

“We hope this program plants seeds of creativity and imagination,” Nagase said.

The program invites visual artists from all disciplines working in the Black Hills region to apply. You can read more about TAP and apply to be a teaching artist here.



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