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Assemblyman John F. McKeon Celebrates Artist Residency Mural June 2013
Raindrops did not prevent St. Cloud Elementary School in West Orange from celebrating their new mural created during a Morris Arts Residency with artist Caren Frost Olmsted.The ribbon cutting was officiated by Assemblyman John F. McKeon, Principal Eric Price and Susan Kantor, a second grade teacher who initiated the mural project along with artist Caren Frost Olmsted. “I am retiring and I wanted to leave a lasting gift” Susan Kantor said. “The mural gives everyone in the building a sense of ownership and a feeling of community awareness.” Every student, every teacher, each staff member, and any parent wishing to participate had a hand in the sketching, painting, and completion of the mural.
The mural titled “The Six Pillars of Knowledge” depicts some West Orange landmarks such as the Edison Lab, Town Hall, and Turtleback Zoo and also features prominent figures like Abraham Lincoln, Thomas Edison, Clara Barton, Jackie Robinson, and Martin Luther King.
Enjoy the entire residency process in this short video!
In the photos below you can see the work in progress and the finished mural images. To learn more about the Morris Arts Residency programs click on this link.
Multicultural Folk Dance Residency January 2013
Third grade students at Mount Prospect Elementary School in Bernard's Township traveled the globe with Morris Arts teaching artist Joanna Pang Atkins learning dances from Russia, Mexico, Kenya, Japan and Scotland. Their dances were presented to their classmates during an afternoon school performance and then again for the entire school community and parents as part of an International Day Fair celebrating the diverse culture of the school. "School Principal Judith Slutzky said she had always wanted to hold an international day, but last year launched the program with the help of dedicated parent volunteers Riham Elkashef, Achint Kaur, Helen Woo and Denise Zangara." Read more about this residency in this article from the Basking Ridge Patch.
Photo from Basking Ridge Patch - Credit Linda Sadlouskos
We've changed our name and logo! January 2013
With a 40th Anniversary kickoff on January 24, 2013, the Arts Council of the Morris Area heralded its new name, new strategic plan, new logo and new mission at a gathering of nearly 100 at its 14 Maple Avenue headquarters. Board President Alan Levitan and Executive Director Tom Werder shared some of the history of the organization which was formally incorporated on May 10, 1973. Established by the Junior League of Morristown’s Arts Steering Committee in response to a scarcity of arts organizations and cultural activities in the area, the Arts Council received seed money from the Junior League of Morristown and from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts – to establish a new organization “which plans to promote all art forms through service to cultural and artistic groups and individuals in the community. The area to be served by the Council includes Morris County and parts of Somerset, Union and Sussex Counties.” Its “Charter Members” featured leading corporations, foundations and large number of cultural organizations (from schools to museums, theaters to symphonies, arts organizations, choral and dance organizations and even the Morris County Park Commission!). These, along with many committed individuals, supported the fledgling efforts of the Arts Council.
Over the years, the Arts Council expanded and solidified its role as an arts leader, providing programs and services to the community, arts organizations, schools and individual artists.
Now, in its 40th year, the Arts Council approaches the next step in its evolution as an organization, with a recently completed strategic plan, a newly refined mission statement of “engaging and building community through the arts” and an updated identity – complete with new logo and the streamlined name of “Morris Arts.”
Its new strategic plan, carefully formulated with input from a wide variety of stakeholders, puts forth five main Goals:
- Inspire artistic expression and creativity in schools, the workplace, public spaces, and communities
- Connect artists, residents, businesses, and community organizations interested in making Morris County a more culturally rich, accessible and diverse community
- Engage the community in meaningful opportunities to make and appreciate the arts
- Advocate for the value and positive social and economic impact of the arts in Morris County
- Steward mission-driven public and private investments to ensure long-term financial viability
These Goals are achieved following these Guiding Principles:
- The arts enrich the lives of everyone in our community
- The arts are vital to the social fabric and economic prosperity of Morris County
- The arts are a catalyst for positive social change
- Artists, arts organizations and creative professionals need community support to thrive
- All residents of Morris County should have equitable access to meaningful artistic experiences regardless of age, means or background
- High quality arts educational opportunities help children and youth learn and succeed in school and life
- A culture of integrity and respect
Its new name, Morris Arts, highlights its focus on the arts and the geographic area served, while streamlining it and making it more manageable and contemporary.
And so, with a sense of renewed mission and purpose, Morris Arts begins its journey towards the next 40 years!
Roxbury High School - Mural Residency Spring 2010
Think good thoughts, say kind words, do good deeds. That's the central theme of a new, outdoor mural created by 60 Roxbury High School art students and their teachers during an Arts Council of the Morris Area, artist residency with Spiritree artists Carol Hendrickson and Marco Giametti. The students were inspired by a program called "Rachel's Challenge." Modeled after the writings of Rachel Scott, the first student killed in the massacre at Columbine High School, the program challenges young people to start a "chain reaction" of kindness and compassion in their communities.
"I hope that the mural will embody all the positive character traits that we value not only as a school system but as a community," said Mike Rossi, superintendent of schools.The mural, which stands 16 feet high and 32 feet wide, was unveiled during a brief ceremony at the school July 14. During the ceremony, Anne Aronovitch, executive director of the Arts Council of the Morris Area, presented Roxbury High School with the 2010 Joyce Talbot Award for Outstanding Arts School. State Senator Anthony Bucco and State Assemblyman Anthony Bucco Jr. were also in attendance to announce their sponsorship of a joint Senate-Assembly resolution recognizing the achievement. Click here to watch a clip of the mural unveiling! Click here for the blog which captured the work in progress.
The Dot and The Line
A new Arts Council residency debuted this Spring at Franklin Township School where videographer Jason Koontz worked with students to create a short film based on the book "The Dot and The Line". Check out the blog for a glimpse into the creative process and watch this short clip to for a "behind the scenes" look at the making of the squiggle.
21 Century Learning and the Arts
Arts Council teaching artists spent a summer morning learning about the integration of 21 Century Skills into K-12 Arts Education and were introduced to wikis, blogs and other new technologies.
The 21st Century Skills Map for the Arts demonstrates how the three Rs and four Cs (critical thinking and problem solving, communication, collaboration and creativity and innovation) can be fused within arts curriculum. The map was released at a Capitol Hill Briefing by representatives from P21, the American Alliance f...or Theatre & Education, the Educational Theatre Association, the National Art Education Association, MENC: The National Association for Music Education, the National Dance Association, and the National Dance Education Organization.
The map provides educator-created examples of how art subjects (dance, music, theatre, and visual and media arts) can be fused with skills to create engaging learning experiences that promote 21st century knowledge and skill acquisition.
Download the 21st Century Skills Map by clicking here.
Bidding Farewell to Arts Leader David Grant
David Grant assumed executive leadership of the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation in 1998. He was responsible for development and evaluation of programs in the Foundation’s major areas of giving: education, the environment, and the arts in New Jersey, as well as the Foundation’s major initiatives: Poetry, technical assistance to non-profit organizations, and Sustainable Morristown.
David spent his professional career before Dodge as an educator. In 1983 he and his wife, Nancy Boyd Grant, co-founded The Mountain School of Milton Academy, a semester-long, interdisciplinary environmental studies program in Vermont for high school juniors. From 1994 to 1998 David was a national consultant to schools and leader of workshops on topics of curriculum and program design, professional development, assessment practices and school climate.
In honor of his retirement we asked Mosaic artist Kathy Casper to work with some of the youngest members of our community to create a work of art for David.