What We’re Learning Through the Responsive Arts in School Education Project 

We are thrilled to be wrapping up our second year participating in Responsive Arts In School Education (RAISE). This is a five-year, multi-state project led by Young Audiences Arts for Learning and designed to address the current, urgent needs of young learners through forging a new model of development and partnership for teaching artists and school support teams, who work together on in-depth, customized, trauma-informed and culturally responsive-sustaining arts in education residencies. The project is funded by the U.S. Department of Education. RAISE consists of four primary activities: (1) teaching artist training, coaching, and action research; (2) learning networks for teaching artists and school support staff across the country to share best practices; (3) professional learning for school support staff and teachers in incorporating the arts into their practice; and (4) customized school-based arts education residencies.

For the past two years, Arts Ed Collaborative staff have partnered with the principals, support staff, and teachers at PPS Arsenal PreK-5 and PPS Westwood PreK-5 along with fabulous teaching artists, including Marce Nixon-Washington, Born Shamir, and Alison Zapata. Highlights from this year include:

  • Laying down bars and sculpting clay in ways that integrate with language arts vocabulary and fractions while simultaneously connecting to emotional regulation
  • Facilitating a schoolwide professional learning workshops focusing on processing big emotions through the arts
  • Creating a largescale, student-led mural celebrating the diversity of the Westwood neighborhood featuring countries of origin and different cultures
  • Facilitating a schoolwide professional learning workshop focusing on leveraging the new mural as a teachable text
  • Celebrating the mural unveiling at a community event

The AEC programs team just got back from Chicago where we attended Young Audiences Arts for Learning conference with other affiliates implementing RAISE across the country. We got a sneak peek at the program evaluation data and have started thinking about how we want to continue this work next school year.