DESE is welcoming public comments until March 9, before the state Board of Elementary and Secondary Education votes to approve the plan. Join us in sending an email of support to state education officials for including the arts in the plan. The approved plan will go to the U.S. Department of Education on April 3. Read Mass Cultural Council Executive Director Anita Walker's letter in support of arts education.
You can also urge your state Representative and Senator to sign onto a Dear Colleague Letter led by State Senators Sonia Chang-Díaz of Boston, Eric Lesser of Longmeadow, and Adam Hinds of Pittsfield, to keep arts education in the new state plan.
Governor Declares March as Youth Arts Month
Springfield Sci-Tech High School Band performing at the 2017 Commonwealth Awards.
It's Youth Arts Month, time to celebrate the arts' central role in a complete education for our young people in school and beyond!
Priscilla Kane Hellweg, Executive Director of Enchanted Circle Theater, talks about how Enchanted Circle has become the regional leader in arts integration, working district-wide in public schools throughout Western Massachusetts, and collaborating with over 60 community partner organizations, developing work that bridges arts, education and human services.
Dr. Peggy Codding, Professor of Music in Music Therapy at the Berklee College of Music, says our brains allow us to compensate for the needs our brains have. She describes the ability of the brain to retrain neurons through music therapy, helping people with profound functional disabilities to express themselves.
Creative Learning through STARS Residencies
In his famous TED talk on creativity in education, education expert Sir Ken Robinson asked why dance is not taught in schools every day. 'Creativity,' he said, 'is as important in education as literacy,' and he cited dance as a vital form of physical creativity. Anna Hendricks, founder of Great Falls Creative Movement in Turner's Falls, puts this important insight into practice for her students.
Through the support of a STARS Residency grant, Hendricks conducted a week-long residency at The Village School in Royalston, MA, that demonstrated the value of dance for children, in classes from preschool to 6th grade. Learn more.
STARS Residencies funds creative learning with cultural partners in the arts, sciences, and humanities in schools to achieve important student learning goals. Through a STARS residency, an elementary school might host a scientist to infuse a fifth grade unit on the local environment with creative learning with an environmental scientist. Or, a high school dance program might invite a professional choreographer to lead a series of masterclasses for the students to help them extend their learning.
Seen & Heard Blog: Gustavo Dudamel Lectures at Harvard University
Gustavo Dudamel Open Rehearsal with the Harvard Radcliffe Orchestra.
In a sit-down conversation with LA Phil CEO Deborah Borda, Dudamel spoke at length of his experience as young Venezuelan musician in El Sistema (Venezuela's Youth Orchestras and Choirs Program), and his commitment to support music education as an opportunity to develop creative potential, and develop the critical learning and life skills young people need to become active contributors to their communities. Read more.
The MCC is a state agency supporting the arts, sciences, and humanities, to improve the quality of life in Massachusetts and its communities. It pursues its mission through a combination of grants, services, and advocacy for nonprofit cultural organizations, schools, communities, and artists.
The MCC's Creative Youth Staff
Diane Daily, Program Manager (STARS Residencies, Creative Minds Out of School, Poetry Out Loud, Big Yellow School Bus) Rodrigo Guerrero, Program Manager (SerHacer) Erik Holmgren, Program Manager (YouthReach)