Posted in GAP News

Thanks for a great 3 years!

Did y’all know that I have been here for THREE Years? Wow how the time flies! MacKenzie was the first person I met when I made the big move from from Minneapolis to Greenville and I have been at the Greenville Arts Council since November of 2010. At that time I started as an AmeriCorps*VISTA and in November of 2011 I was hired to stay as full-time staff.

Lots and lots has happened during the past three years – we have significantly expanded our partnership with the Greenville Public and Western Line School Districts, we have had thousands of students visit E.E. Bass for arts experiences, hundreds of teachers have participated in professional development workshops, we have hosted several Mississippi Teaching Artists, sponsored family reading programs…and that’s just the beginning of how the school-based partnership work has grown!

As an individual, I have had amazing opportunity in the arts education field through the partnership work that happens here. I have been blogging for the Kennedy Center’s Partners in Education intraweb site since 2012, I had the opportunity to attend the Partner in Education Annual meeting twice, and this year I was asked to present! I have been working closely with the Mississippi Arts Commission and have served as a grant panelist, a Steering Committee member of the Whole Schools Initiative, and a member of the Teaching Artist Advisory Group.

Greenville, Mississippi has been a place of personal and professional growth, and this organization has been an important part of my life. As much as I have loved my experiences here, it is now the right time for me to move on to the next chapter and today is my last day (and final post) at the Greenville Arts Council. Later this summer I will be moving back to Chicago with my fiance, which is where my whole family still lives. There I will continue to work with arts integration programming and teaching artists on a national scale after working deeply at the state level here in Mississippi.

Thanks for an amazing three years!

– Megan

P.S. Until a new Arts in Education Coordinator is selected, MacKenzie Stroh, Executive Director of the Greenville Arts Council, will be the contact for all education based programming. You can contact MacKenzie at mstroh@greenville-arts-council.com or at 662-332-2246.

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The mission of the Greenville Arts Council is to promote the rich cultural heritage of the region and stimulate and encourage cultural activities, arts appreciation, arts education, and the creative works of artists. Some of the responsibilities that help define the Greenville Arts Council as the primary promoter of the arts in our area include offering art classes to children and adults, organizing community events, presenting an ongoing series of free exhibits featuring visual artists from the area and the state, and coordinating educational programs which teach arts-integration in local schools. The Greenville Arts Partnership between the Greenville Arts Council, the Greenville Public School District and our three community arts partners, Delta Center Stage, Delta Symphony Association and the Delta Children’s Museum, is focused on full arts integration in the GPSD elementary schools. Plentiful research documents the value of the teaching in and through the arts to help students understand core academic concepts on a deep level. The partnership was the first in the state of Mississippi accepted into the Kennedy Center Partners in Education Program in 2003, joining over 100 other partnerships between school districts and arts organizations across the country. The partnership provides professional development for teachers, arts experiences for students and resource and referral on arts integration issues. Professional development has been provided in two ways, through workshops with Teaching Artists from the Kennedy Touring Roster and grade-level and/or discipline-specific professional development with our local staff. We present a series of model demonstration lessons to teachers in grades K to 6, demonstrating connections between Partnership free arts programming and required state frameworks. The partner arts groups present a series of live performances allowing each elementary child in the GPSD to attend at least once each year. The groups work with the Arts Council staff to develop accompanying curriculum-based educational material for distribution to teachers prior to each performance. Over the years, we have succeeded in providing basic arts integration training district-wide as well as in-depth professional development to allow groups of teachers to increase their level of mastery.