Leadership and Literacy through the Arts

Fun & creativity with a purpose!

Studies show that creative projects and hands-on learning hone skills in literacy, math, history, science, public speaking, memorization, and research better than traditional education programs. We instill confidence and poise in students who learn to feel safe expressing themselves emotionally. Students learn proper breath control, projection and diction, as well as safe, healthy movement and exercise. We stress discipline, commitment, and teamwork, as well as taking pride in and ownership of their work. 

Students can find it challenging to sit still in traditional classroom settings. Fun, artistic projects get students moving and creating and take into account differences in learning styles. These projects aid in stronger executive functioning, critical thinking, and problem solving skills. Through sharing their work at the end of the program, students learn to complete projects, meet a goal, and confidently make presentations in front of an audience.

We can create, plan, staff and implement an arts program that fits into your schedule, budget and lesson plans. We customize projects and activities to meet your goals and be interesting and age appropriate to groups of any age. Whatever type or length of plan you choose, the goal will be to have projects to share and present at the end of the session(s).

Stories and projects chosen can be specifically designed around a curricular goal or theme that you choose, or we can provide all planning and materials. We can work in partnership with your staff or completely independently.

Some of the skills learned through projects in theatre, music, dance, visual arts and more: emotional intelligence, spatial relations, drawing, painting, crafting, art appreciation, research, design, scale measurements and calculations, cutting, pasting, crafting, understanding how colors and shapes create a picture and a feeling, engineering, science, hand-eye coordination, literacy, character analysis, writing, wordsmithing, acting, memorization, understanding the math of rhythm, cultural awareness, speech, critical thinking, using context clues, adaptability, teamwork, movement – muscle memory, balance, poise, relaxation and fitness, voice – breath control, projection, resonance and diction, film production and editing, vocabulary, discipline, confidence, ownership, leadership, support and presentation.

Emotions Through Visual Arts

Discussions about how emotions can be expressed through colors, shapes and designs. Conversely, a piece of art can evoke emotions. Students are encouraged to create a piece using various mediums which expresses an emotion or experience. They are also asked to comment on the work of others and how it makes them feel.

Skills: emotional intelligence, spatial relations, drawing, painting, crafting, art appreciation.

African Drumming

& Dance

Familiar stretching and movement combined with African gestures and moves. Steps are learned in sequence, and drum rhythms and calls are learned. Traditional drum sequences and joyful movement are introduced and everyone circles together showing respect and presenting what was learned. 

Skills: cultural awareness, rhythm, teamwork, muscle memory, memorization, movement, body positivity

STEAM Creative Projects

Each session has a different art or craft or building project that while fun and creative, also teaches a lesson in science, technology, or engineering. Students are encouraged to embrace failure and question the boundaries of the creative process. Skills taught are are paramount to success in today’s world, and promote teamwork, imagination, creative and critical problem solving, all while having fun.

Skills: critical thinking, problem solving, planning, collaboration, engineering, science, hand-eye coordination, cutting, pasting, measurements and calculations.

Improv

Students learn exercises to open up their minds to possibilities, go with the flow and work with scene partners to create an entertaining and believable scene. Using different prompts and concepts, they explore characters, stories and emotions outside their lived experience.

Skills: Critical thinking skills, using context clues, adaptability.

Yoga

Gentle stretching, breathing and exercises designed to strengthen the body and mind. Students learn focus and patience with yoga poses and other movement-based work.

Skills: Stretching, breathing, focus, concentration, relaxation, strength, body positivity and poise.

Art In Activism

(climate change)

Projects to help better and beautify the community around us. Things like creating shading zones with reflective canopies, creating planters and painting murals throughout the community.

Skills: community service, environmental research, design, scale measurements, cutting, crafting, drawing, painting, art appreciation.

Character Creation

Students fill out a two page questionnaire – page one defines “WHO” the character is, page two defines the “STORY” they want to tell. We do acting and movement exercises to examine how characters think, feel and move. We do writing exercises to learn the craft of creating a monologue (or scenes for more advanced groups).

Skills: character analysis, research, writing, wordsmithing, emotional intelligence, acting, memorization.

Set Design

Using a story that we all share, students are tasked with creating a set for a scene from the story, poem or play. They will do the research for the world of the story to accurately portray the scene. They will learn to use scale to create their scene in a 3D model. They will use various materials to create their rendering. Finally, when sharing our designs with each other, a discussion ensues about the different interpretations we can have of the same story.

Skills: research, design, scale measurements and calculations, cutting, pasting, crafting, art appreciation, and interpretation.

Costume Design

Similar to the set design project, those with an attraction to fashion can create scale models of costumes appropriate to story, time and artistic and emotional creation. What would each character in the story wear and why?

Skills: research, fashion design, scale measurements and calculations, understanding how colors and shapes create a picture and a feeling.

Shakespeare

Monologues or scene study. Learn to break down the text using iambic pentameter. Discuss the historical time frame and cultural references in the play. Memorize, act out and present the piece.

Skills: understanding the math of rhythm, historical research, cultural awareness, memorization, acting and speech.

Musical Theatre

Can be a bigger, longer unit in creating a musical theatre piece including script, singing and choreography. Specially curated material edited to give each student just enough to challenge themselves to stretch and grow but also feel comfortable based on their age, skill and experience level. This is our specialty!

Or smaller projects such as:

Voice: techniques to expand strength (breathing), resonance (humming, stretching) and clarity (diction). Also learning to present a song that moves the audience by having a back story, a character and emotions behind what is being sung.

Movement: Creating ensemble musical theatre numbers with choreography, and/or class in various types of dance. (African, Latin, Hip Hop, Ballet, Jazz, Tap, Modern, Musical Theatre)

Skills (general): teamwork, memorization, muscle memory, acting, voice, movement, presentation.

Skills (specific to material): historical context and research, cultural understanding

Additional Options

For more advanced students there can also be options to allow them to direct, choreograph and/or stage manage or run tech on a performance.

More advanced/specialized writing classes can be considered (poetry, spoken word, playwriting, etc.)

Instrumental training if instruments are available: (African drums, guitar, keyboards, percussion)

Advanced groups for specific dance genres, voice, and performance.

Additional visual arts projects using different mediums.

In addition to specific skills all projects include education in vocabulary, discipline, confidence and ownership. Students are strongly encouraged to stretch themselves by taking on leadership positions in small groups and support each other.

Don’t see what you’re looking for? Ask us! We would love to meet with you to customize a program for your students.