Posted in GAP News

Guiding Principles for the Arts

common_core_logoThe guiding principles of the arts were developed by one of the authors of the Common Core State Standards. The seven principles for the Arts outlined in this document guide of developed curriculum modules and accompanying materials. Note the connections drawn in these principles to literacy and other areas of study such as art.
1.Studying works of arts as training in close observation across the arts disciplines and preparing students to create and perform in the arts
Meaningful appreciation and study of works of art begins with close observation. The Core Standards in Literacy similarly describe reading as the product of sustained observation and attention to detail. Particularly when encountering complex art, or reading the level of complex text students will need to be ready for college and careers, students will need to learn to re-examine and observe closely. The arts reward sustained inquiry and provide a perfect opportunity for students to practice the discipline of close observation whether looking at a painting or lithograph, watching a drama or a dance, or attending to a piece of music. New York State is therefore requesting a sequence of materials that cultivates students’ observation abilities in the context of the sustained examination of magnificent works of art that are worthy of prolonged focus. Classroom work would be spent on in depth study; several days or longer might be spent on a specific work. What is requested are a set of arts modules that bring to bear observing, listening to and appreciating expansive works of art across disciplines and grades. In both the arts and reading, such attention to the specifics can be hard, particularly when the work is complex. Often, when one first looks at a painting, hears a piece of music, or watches a dance, one does not know “what to say” or “where to begin.” The process of analyzing the work is a slow, gradual one that requires practice. Appreciation requires tolerating any initial confusion or uncertainty and staying with it until more is seen. Proposals should offer thoughtful, specific, and imaginative guidance to the student who stands before the painting and asks, what do I do now?
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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.