Long Term Residency: Art and Eve

In 2004, the Philadelphia Arts in Education Partnership (PAEP) was selected to partner with the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts‘ (PCA) Arts in Education Division. As the PCA regional partner, PAEP designs, implements, manages, and provides financial support for arts residencies in schools and community sites throughout southeastern Pennsylvania. PAEP trains visual and performing arts teaching artists to integrate the arts with academic curricula. PAEP manages 30-40 visual and performing arts-making residencies per year with students in preK-12 classroom and community sites. PAEP also reviews and accepts local artists annually for inclusion in the Directory of Pennsylvania’s Artists in Education. This Directory is primarily used as a tool by schools and community sites to identify artists for the Artist in Residency Program.

In addition to our Residency program, PAEP also provides support for Long Term Residencies (LTR’s) which are a more in depth approach to student learning in and through the arts. LTR’s consists of a minimum of 60 days and engages learners in the creative process through artistic and core curricular goals and objectives. Each LTR is uniquely designed and developed between a Directory Teaching Artist, Project Director, and host site.

One of PAEP’s most established LTR’s, “Art and Eve”, is in its second year at Grover Washington Middle School. Art and Eve” is an in-school arts residency program that promotes interest in science, mathematics, and technology for adolescent girls through art and design projects that challenge their preconceived and frequently negative notions about STEM subjects. This project targets socially at-risk girls and aims to build a sense of competence and confidence, critical thinking and problem solving skills, and the ability to work together and function as a team, all skills necessary for the 21st century workforce.

Art and Eve” was created through collaboration with technology teacher Gina Griffith, Teaching Artist Lisa Volta, the Philadelphia Arts in Education Partnership (PAEP), and Grover Washington Jr. Middle School. “Art and Eve” continues the mission of promoting positive growth within the school’s female population and increases the likelihood of their future success as well as supporting them in becoming better citizens for our community and nation.

This past year the girls have been exposed to a variety of exciting new topics including: computer software mastery, research skills utilizing technology, creation of blogs, jewelry making, and most recently, designing and fabricating light boxes. Since “Art and Eve” strives to expose students to the possibility of furthering their education while also setting personal goals for themselves, artist Lisa Volta and teacher Gina Griffith thought it would be a valuable opportunity to take the students on a field trip to Moore College of Art and Design in Philadelphia. During the visit, the girls learned about the Youth Artist Program that Moore offers to middle and high school students over the summer months to help them strengthen their artistic skills. The girls also toured the campus, including different art departments and gallery spaces. Within these departments they saw the latest technologies and learned how they are relevant to the projects they have worked on in “Art and Eve”.  At the conclusion of the tour, the girls walked away with a true excitement for college and the realization that they can achieve a higher education.

With continuous support from all partners, “Art and Eve” provides a safe space for girls to engage in learning while also being able to share their thoughts and ideas with one another. PAEP is excited to announce that the program will continue its work at Grover Washington Middle School in the 2014-15 school year.

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