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July 28, 2015

Highlights of PAEP’s Residency Programs

As the southeast regional partner for the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, PAEP was busy this year with residencies in all five counties, Philadelphia, Bucks, Montgomery, Chester, and Delaware. Teaching artists worked in schools and community sites bringing their art specialties to students of all ages. In Delaware County, Rhona Candeloro, a visual artist, continued her collaboration with the Chester Community Charter Schools East and West for the second year.  Both residencies were 20 sessions long allowing students time to hone their skills and interests in visual art. Another Delaware County residency was at the Chester School for the Arts. This collaboration between the school and the Violette de Mazia artists developed over two years and introduced students to not only art making activities but also to ways to view and think about visual art first developed as part of the Barnes Foundation education programs.

The Fabric Workshop and Museum returned to work with 10th through 12th grade students at Technical College High School in Chester County. This time they collaborated with teachers at the Brandywine campus in Downingtown. Patty Papatheodore worked with special needs students in a residency at the Mainline Art Center, and Cassandra Gunkle is working with children in a summer library program at the Southampton Library in Bucks County.

Lisa Volta collaborated with Gina Griffiths at Grover Washington Jr. Middle School for the third year on a PCA Long Term Residency designed to foster positive attitudes about science, math, and technology through arts integration for adolescent girls. This year’s project focused on developing an understanding of plants, ecology, and landscape design. The girls also worked with a landscape architect to design and create a garden at their school.

The PA Council on the Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts provided PAEP with funding for its SmART Readers program, which placed teaching artists in eight Philadelphia Free Library branches for extended residencies in literacy and visual art. The teaching artists worked with the children’s librarians in each library to select appropriate texts on which to base their art making and literacy projects. Literacy learning goals included PA Common Core State Standards and School District of Philadelphia learning objectives such as identifying main idea and supporting details; identifying beginning, middle, and end of stories; recounting details of what they read or had read to them; increased vocabulary; and writing about their art projects. These 30 session residencies ran after school and during the summer. An exhibit and reception was held at each site to showcase the work that the elementary students created.