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Artist Residency Programs


The cornerstone of the Morris Arts Education program is the Artist Residency Program, an interdisciplinary, in-depth program taking place over a two to six week period that demonstrates how the arts, woven into the curriculum with other academic disciplines, can inspire unique, creative and meaningful learning experiences for a school community. Artists, principals and teachers collaborate to create an educational experience that transcends the typical classroom experience by exploring multiple-intelligence, hands-on ways of learning. Students learn how to express themselves creatively while teachers are exposed to innovative strategies for implementing the Core Curriculum Content standards. 

Residencies range in price from $4000 to $7000, depending on the number of days and the number of teaching artists involved in the residency. Unlike assembly programs, all residencies are contracted and administered by Arts in Education director, Barbara Reuther  973-285-5115 ext. 16



Circus Around the World with Circus Minimus

Residency led by a former Big Apple Circus instructor has students study juggling, clowning, tumbling, partner acrobatics, human pyramid building, tight-wire, and much more. Circus Around the World is an integrated curriculum that allows students to research culture, history, social studies, language arts and geography of a chosen country, while acquiring circus skills. A collaborative approach among the artist, students, teachers and administrators builds to a joyous circus performance, which is presented to the whole community. Kevin O’Keefe; Grades K-8

Kevin O'Keefe 212.874.3976




It blends the practice of yoga with the skills of circus. Through this two-week interdisciplinary residency K-8 students will explore kinesiology, creativity and connection. Yoga is an ancient science that teaches us how to be aware of our bodies in action. Circus is a culture of inclusion and celebration that teaches us how remarkable we can be in our bodies. We will begin by exploring our anatomy and physiology as it relates to a particular skill. We will learn how the whole body and the focus of the mind contribute to our movement, choices, and abilities in any activity. CircusYoga offers a cooperative learning environment. Students are met where they are, and are encouraged to lead with their curiosity. Through this exploration each class will co-create a performance act. Some schools opt to offer a full-circle learning experience where kids teach their parents what they’ve learned in a family workshop. And some parents even choose to join us in the classroom everyday as life-long learners. The culminating experience is an hour-long CircusYoga Celebration open to the whole school community!  Erin Maile O’Keefe; Grades K-8

Erin Maile O'Keefe 212.874.3976



From Page to Stage

This residency helps students develop a strong, authentic voice in their writing; an ability to see another person’s point of view; an understanding of the important role played by conflict and conflict resolution in real life and on the stage; and an appreciation for the historical roots of western theater. Students play physical and verbal theater games to improve listening, concentration and teamwork. They also do improvisations that inspire the writing of monologues and scenes as well as work as a group to stage selected works, adding music, dance, costumes or props that enhance the production. A performance for an invited audience completes the process of transforming the literal into the symbolic, the ordinary into the extraordinary. The residency meets all of the New Jersey Core Curriculum Standards in Language Arts and Literacy and in Visual and Performing Arts. Carolyn Hunt; Grades 4-12 

Carolyn Hunt 973.714.5295



In Other Words... Storymaking with Dreams and Drums

Students and teachers explore the structure of narrative by combining musical composition with story and language. Using folktales and percussion instruments, students learn ways to retell traditional stories and create original ones by relating them to fundamental musical concepts. Students use music, writing, and creative drama to explore traditional stories from "the inside out." They intertwine music and words to create their own story performances. Workshops will lead groups from writing to performance. Experiences in each medium will expand knowledge of both. An excellent opportunity for non-musicians to bring music into their classrooms and for teachers to learn new ways to engage kinesthetic, visual, and musical learners in literacy activities. Paula Davidoff & Ron McBee; Grades K-8

Paula Davidoff 973.538.2472 



Mosaic and Tile Arts

Students collaborate with tile and mosaic artists Kathy Casper and Jackie Stack Lagakos to create a lasting work of art for their school. From design to creation these celebrated artists guide students through each step of the creative process, exploring a variety of techniques. The mosaic process is well-suited to group work, where a range of tasks are taken up by students of different levels of skill and interest. Kathy Casper and Jackie Stack Lagakos; Grades K-12

Kathy Casper 856.630.8720

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Mural Arts with Dan Fenelon

New Jersey artist Dan Fenelon collaborates with school communities to create vibrant, high energy murals and installations. Students are led through the mural making process from theme development and planning - to participation in painting the finished work. Educated at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, Dan has designed logos for Major League Baseball, the National Hockey League and the Discovery Channel’s American Choppers. He has designed large scale public murals in Montclair, Newark, South Orange and Grand Rapids. Dan Fenelon; Grades K-12

Dan Fenelon 973.966.1602                                                                                                                                                                                .

Pages to Players JR

This residency affords students the opportunity to explore a Shakespeare play in all its dimensions, from reading and discussion to rehearsal and performance. Working with the education staff of The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey, the residency begins with an exploration of ensemble, introducing students to valuable skills for creative collaboration and problem-solving. Working with an abridged Shakespeare text, the students will explore both physical and verbal forms of expression, building self-confidence and the fluent, effective use of language. As time permits, the residency will make interdisciplinary connections to art, music and other areas that can enhance theatrical storytelling, but Shakespeare’s language remains absolutely central. Each residency will culminate in a performance by the student ensemble. Schools may also wish to add a performance by The Shakespeare Theatre’s educational touring company, Shakespeare LIVE! This residency is designed for a four- to six-week period, but shorter residencies may be possible. The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey; Grades 4-8

Doug West 973.845.6742



The Peace Garden Song and Mural Project Residency with Jennifer Levine and Scott Massarsky

In this residency students explore collaborative art and music making under the direction of visual artist Jennifer Levine and singer songwriter Scott Massarsky. Participants have the opportunity to imagine, discuss and write how their thoughts, actions and words can create a more peaceful world. Together students provide inspiration for an original musical composition as well as design, sketch and paint a mural celebrating peace. This multi-sensory residency engages auditory, visual and kinesthetic learners. The final product offers the school an original song and a permanent piece of art that declares loudly and proudly that the school values peace and safety for all inside and all who enter. Murals are executed directly onto the wall or on canvas for portability. Jennifer Levine and Scott Massarsky; Grades K-12

Jennifer Levine 973.634.3378                                                                                                                                .

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NEW: The Possibilities of Glass

J. Kenneth Leap is New Jersey’s premiere architectural stained-glass designer. With a career stretching over 3 decades, he has completed installations in nearly every county in the state. As a teaching artist, he has lead professional development workshops, given presentations on the history and science of glass, and performed interactive demonstrations of medieval and renaissance techniques. In collaboration with schools, he has led student groups to create architectural installations celebrating local history while learning the storytelling power of glass. Students learn traditional and contemporary glass techniques including enameling, fusing and glass mosaic. Kenneth works with teachers and administrators to develop a custom program tailored to compliment your curriculum-based core skills and learning outcomes. J. Kenneth Leap; Grades 4-12; Price on request

J. Kenneth Leap 609.682.0456                                                                                                                                                                        

Real Beauty: Uncovered - Let's Be Real

"Real Beauty: Uncovered" provides schools with a comprehensive "Let’s Be Real" educational program, designed to help students develop an authentic sense of their own beauty and value regardless of society’s constraints and peer pressure. It promotes the understanding that beauty comes from within. In a world where touched-up and altered images in the media distort our perceptions, "Real Beauty: Uncovered" challenges students to accept themselves for who they really are. Through this lesson of self-acceptance, students are given the tools to boost their confidence, deal with bullying, eating disorders, etc., and appreciate others as well. This program is made up of a series of classes for students, an interview/photography session with each participant and a culminating event for students and the community as a whole. Dani Allen; Grades 4-12

Daniela Allen 973.713.3293                                                                                                                                                                                                                       

A Sound Venture

This residency offers a musical global studies adventure as students discover the limitless array of sounds available to the percussionist. African instruments and their new world offspring are used to explore and experience music principles, multi-cultural studies, instrument making or geography. The residency can be designed to support a specific unit of study or curriculum themes such as African-American or colonial music, rhythms & songs, ecology, storytelling and writing. An appropriate culminating activity such as informal sharing, recording or performance will conclude the residency. Ron McBee; Grades K-12

Ron McBee 347.432.03.12




Spiritree residencies draw on the power of art-making to tap the many talents and intelligences of students. The thematically defined interdisciplinary projects integrate the arts with the curriculum as students create masks, giant puppets and life-size figures in paper mâché and engage in creative research. Themes focus on subject areas such as history, literature or science and are chosen by teachers and the artists. So that students may share their creative learning experiences with others, each residency culminates in an installation, pageant or parade. Two- or three-week sessions. Marco Giammetti and Carol Hendrickson; Grades K-12

Marco Giammetti and Carol Hendrickson

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We Are All Artists

A residency with muralist and Art Educator Caren Frost Olmsted unleashes the artist in each student that participates in the creation of a stunning, theme driven mural. Every student will get to participate in the painting (no matter what their skill level) with the end result of knowing that they have left a permanent artistic legacy behind. Olmsted will design a mural tailored to the age level and based upon themes provided by the school, such as local history, landscapes, and community ideals. The duration of the project will be determined by the size and scale of the walls to be painted and the number of students to be included. Once the mural is complete, Olmsted will do any necessary touch-ups, as well as seal the wall for longevity and easy maintenance. This residency is also an excellent opportunity for parent volunteers to participate in a special school event. Caren Frost Olmsted; Grades K-12; $500 daily plus expenses (as an example, a 45 foot long wall with 100 students will be an 8 day residency = $4000 plus expenses)   

Caren Frost Olmsted 908.208.7516

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World Dance

During this dance residency, students learn folk dances representing different countries and cultures, while also learning about history, geography and music. Each class learns a different dance and then all classes learn one common dance, all of which are performed at a culminating assembly program for the school, parents and community. All classes perform in full costume, and each dance segment is introduced with a description of the country of origin and the history of the dance. Dances can include: Chinese Ribbon Dance, African Lion Dance, Russian Trepak, Highland Fling, Classical Japanese Fan Dance, Japanese Taiko Drumming, Cicerennella, Italian Folk Dance, Australian Aboriginal Dance, French Minuet, Mexican Clap Dance, Merengue, Colonial dances and others! Joanna Pang Atkins; Grades K-8  

Joanna Pang Atkins 973.325.2045

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