Remarks to Chatham County Board of Education

Dr. Jordan, Mr. Hamm and Members of the Board:

In the summer of 2007 I made my first presentation to the School Board to advocate for funds for the Northwood Arts Wing. I proposed that “talented students and dedicated faculty could only continue their tradition of excellence for a limited amount of time without a facility and resources to support them.” Faculty would be lured to other districts or retire and traditions wane without attention and nourishment. The board had several options, but made the bold decision to move forward and invest in Northwood.

CCS has provided an excellent facility, an arts-champion as principal, additional faculty to begin to meet the demand for this coursework, administrative positions in the county office focusing on arts education and a public stage to highlight the arts with programs like All-County Chorus, All-County Band and the Arts Extravaganza.

Each year, I come to share the good news about this remarkable program. 2012–2013, when Northwood celebrated it’s 40th Anniversary, is no exception. This year’s Annual Report touches on the myriad events that comprise the curriculum—classwork, projects, club meetings, performances, competitions, field trips, master classes, exhibitions and celebrations. Cumulatively, we know they provide a rich groundwork for our students to move into higher education. Our graduates go on to study engineering, neuroscience, and dentistry. They continue in arts education—at NC School of Design, ECU, UNC-Chapel Hill. We have high school students, college students, and graduates at the UNC School of the Arts—some recently featured in the media working on projects with their Cirque de Soleil program. Our visual arts students attend SCAD in Georgia, Pratt in Brooklyn and the School of Visual Arts in New York. We have drama students studying in Dublin this semester and a dancer at the Cornish College for the Arts in Washington. Musicians are studying instrumental music at the School of the Arts, opera at Appalachian, and Jazz Studies as a post-graduate Mancini Fellow in Miami. Alumni are working in the motion picture and advertising industries in California, in the fashion industry in Atlanta, as professional musicians here in NC, and performing with Holland American Cruise Lines.

As you think about the future, I have three recommendations …

  1. Check out ArtsEdSearch. This database of evidence-based research from the Arts Education Partnership backs up what we know anecdotally about the power of the arts to enhance educational outcomes and improve the lives of our students.
  2. This board has always had the wisdom to take the long view. From the NEA Project Entice which brought dance to Northwood in the 70s to recognition from the Kennedy Center in 2003 for Northwood’s comprehensive Arts Education program (the only one so recognized in the state that year). Consider if there is potentially a good match for a Chatham County School and the A+ Schools Program—the largest, longest running, most successful, arts-based whole-school reform effort in the nation. It’s a worthy program to consider for a system that can claim the oldest, comprehensive public school arts education program in NC.
  3. Consider undertaking A Community Audit for Arts Education: Better Schools, Better Skills, Better Communities. In November 2000, the Kennedy Center developed this tool to assist local education, community and cultural leaders in assessing the status of arts education in schools and school districts, and to encourage community partnerships to strengthen and expand arts education for all students. It is most valuable as a vehicle for encouraging conversation and community planning in support of arts education. And perhaps investigate their Any Given Child initiative.  [Kennedy Center Alliance for Arts Ed. Tools & Resources.]

Thank you for your continued support. We look forward to another challenging, exciting, creative year and we hope to see you again soon at a NorthwoodArts performance.

Comments to County Commissioners

Comments to Chatham County Commissioners
May 20, 2013

My name is Gina Harrison. I’m an arts education advocate here in Chatham County—founding president of the NHS Arts Education Foundation, a board member of ArtsNC, and a volunteer serving on the Board of ChathamArts.

ChathamArts LogoThank you for the opportunity to speak as you consider public funding for ChathamArts—the Chatham County Arts Council for the coming year.  I know people are divided on the question of whether Government should support the Arts.

I would like to suggest you consider a slightly different question tonight as you deliberate—Does the mission and do the activities of ChathamArts advance YOUR goals and objectives for our county now and could it be more effective in working together in the future?

Does promoting and “celebrating our county’s heritage and identity”  inspire residents who live and work here?  Is it an asset in attracting business and economic development? Do activities and events like Clydefest, the Annual Bluegrass Concert, this year’s film/lecture series on American Music History at the Public Library, build community? attract visitors and tourists who spend money in our county?

IMG_0399Is providing the opportunity for our students to see world class performers in concert, and to work directly with them in residencies, valuable? From the Glenn Miller Orchestra and the 2009 Piemont Laureate Jackie Shelton Greene, to EbzB’s residency creating a theatre piece for middle schoolers about discrimination, ChathamArts works each year with the school system to enhance educational experiences for our students.

And is it an asset for ChathamArts to administer the Grassroot Arts Grants in Chatham County?  Working in concert with local organizations on projects aimed at reducing hunger, improving literacy, assisting those with developmental disabilities, and preserving our environmental resources?

ChathamArts does this and more, with only two part-time employees. Most of the work is done by volunteers. I suggest that these are valuable, even essential to progress, and that it is the combined responsibility of public government, local business, and private individuals.  You are not ChathamArts’ sole means of support, but your investment is a powerful statement about the goals and priorities and vision of our community.

The work of ChathamArts “enriches education, enhances economic development, and enlivens our community.”

And that kind of investment IS worthy of public support.

Thank you.

Remembering What Might Have Been

It’s Saturday at 2pm and I should be sitting in the War Memorial Auditorium in Greensboro, proudly supporting our four Northwood singers amid the 800+ high school singers from across North Carolina at this year’s NC High School All-State Choral Festival. We would have gathered on Thursday night, then spent A LONG day rehearsing (morning, afternoon, and into the evening) divided into three choirs—the NC Music Education Association (NCMEA) 9-10th Choir, the American Choral Directors’ Association (ACDA) Women’s Choir, and the NCMEA 11-12th Choir.

Two Northwood singers are returning for their 2nd and 3rd years, and they know what an exciting weekend it is. Meeting, singing, and sharing with peers (did I tell you it’s more than 800 high school singers?) “from Murphy to Manteo.” Learning new music, historical background, technique, getting to work with talented college instructors, and measuring their skill and preparation with the group at large. Maybe thinking about getting to sing in college. And performing with perhaps one of the largest groups and for their largest audience ever. For the other two, this would have been a brand new experience. Also, this is one of the first big activities for our new choral director, Matthew Hanson. It’s his first year at Northwood and his first year teaching. What a great chance to meet and talk and learn and observe with colleagues from across North Carolina. And he’s a UNC-G graduate, so it’s all happening right in his back yard.

This was to be my third trip as Girl Friday and official NHS Arts cheerleader.  Our previous choral director, Marilyn Shugart, began having her students participate in All-State, and it was a tremendous boost for our choral program. It’s fascinating to watch how talented musicians can come together, focus intensively for 24 hours, and create this remarkable event. You get to hear standard choral repertoire as well as new contemporary works, and even world premieres commissioned especially for the festival.

As a member of the Duke Chapel Choir, I get to experience something not unlike this. I am fortunate to sing regularly in a group of more than 100, and very occasionally in a choir of up to 300 for special events, performing some of the world’s most gorgeous music literature and working with the most gifted musicians in the entire region. We occasionally talk about the fact that singers may never know the impact that their music has on a congregation, an audience, or to people who listen on the radio, TV or thru the Web.

Alas, perhaps our only “weather event” of the winter has cancelled this year’s festival. It’s not hard to understand why such a massive undertaking cannot be re-scheduled—the coordinator, Beverly Alt, has tremendous responsibilities securing the hotel rooms, the rehearsal venue, the performance hall, the clinicians, the accompanists, the assistants, the administrative work, the multiple sectional rehearsal personnel and spaces. So I’m sure the disappointment is much greater for her and her colleagues. But today I think about the converse of not knowing the impact of your efforts —the  impact of the missed opportunity for talented young singers.

I went back to some video from last year and it will show you most clearly what may have been lost. This is the finale from the 2012 festival, featuring the 11-12th Choir. The conductor is a marvelous, dynamic instructor from the University of Miami, Dr. Karen Kennedy. [read an excellent profile here, and you'll get a sense of why she was a perfect choice to conduct.] The accompanist is Gwen Hall, choral director of Southwestern Randolph High School, with degrees from UNC-Chapel Hill and her Masters from the University of IL at Urbana-Champaign.

Think about this. You’re a director in Florida, selecting music in the fall for a January performance in NC with 300 kids you’ve never met, and with whom you will only get to work for less than two days. You choose this song to end your program and it includes a solo.  You don’t know who will audition.  In Greensboro, more than 40 brave singers stepped forward at the end of the day on Friday to apply. Many were quite good and well prepared. Many would have done fine work.  And as you can see from Dr. Kennedy’s profile, this is a regular part of her professional work.  But sometimes, a young man like Demarcus walks through the door.  And there is magic …  The soloist, the conductor, the music, the pianist, the choir, the audience together JUST ONCE, for just 5 minutes that will never come again.   Watch …

Arts Abounding

Busy week here in central NC for the arts and arts ed …

  1. ARTSNC logo 2010ArtsNC Board meets this Thursday in Greensboro. Planning for Regional Arts Summits prior to Arts Day 2013: April 9-10. Coming to Hickory, Goldsboro, Concord, and the Triangle in February and March. [Oh, and by the way, have you ordered your Arts License Plate yet?]
  2. Scholastic Art Awards at Barton College were just announced, and Northwood students received Gold Keys, Silver Keys, and Honorable Mentions.  The Awards Ceremony is scheduled for Feb 3 and the exhibition runs thru Feb 22 at Barton College Art Gallery.
  3. Traveling back to Greensboro with NHS singers for the NCMEA High School All-State Choir.  This annual event highlights more than 800 of our state’s finest singers and gives them the opportunity to work with outstanding collegiate choral directors to prepare for the Jan. 26 concert at the War Memorial Auditorium. Read more about the three choirs, the clinicians, and this year’s program here.
  4. Meanwhile, NHS will have an instrumentalist taking part in the Central District Bandmasters Association All-District Band Clinic in Raleigh.
  5. And finally, attending a big event commissioned by Carolina Performing Arts to celebrate  the centennial of Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring—The premiere weekend of A Rite, a collaborative work by Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company & SITI Company.

Changing of the Guard

When I think about “parent involvement,” during my kids’ years in Chatham County Schools, three things come to mind as most influential.

  1. 4th Grade trip to Outer Banks—Three days traveling with 100 students, their parents and teachers! With Mattie Smith’s superb organizational skills, it was a delight to watch a teacher’s fine mix of discipline and fun. And it was the first time I got to know a group of parents I would work closely with for the next 10 years.
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  2. Band Boosters—Participating in a well-developed parent organization whose work was absolutely essential for the success of the program—raising serious money and putting in serious hours. Being welcomed as a team member by the community that is marching band.
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    Byways, Highways & Skyways

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    NHS All-Superior Pit Crew

  3. Establishing and working with NHSAEF—Recognizing that the entire arts education program needed the kind of support Band Boosters provided the instrumental music program. Learning that a group of dedicated parents and community members lending a hand, promoting, and advocating for students, faculty, the program, the school, and the arts could have a tremendous impact on perception, recognition, funding and opportunities.

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    2010 NHSAEF Scholarship Recipients

Why Should You Get Involved?

  1. First and foremost, to support this tremendous faculty. Ten years ago Northwood was the only NC school the Kennedy Center recognized with their Creative Ticket for Excellence for its comprehensive arts education program. Today those junior faculty members have remained, and grown to lead this award-winning program. NHS is one of only about 45% of the US high schools with a theatre arts program and one of only about 12% of US high schools with a dance program.* This faculty was a stable force for our children during an era when other parts of Northwood did not have great continuity from year to year. They have modeled life-long learning—earning advanced degrees, board certification, pursuing professional development activities, developing facility on additional instruments, and auditioning for new dance companies. They and their students have earned statewide and national recognition, received grants to expand opportunities, and built a tradition of excellence to which new students aspire each year.
  2. Your efforts, your presence, your participation validates the importance of arts education studies for all  students.
  3. You maintain and increase funding and program stability by promoting NorthwoodArts to the community, the school board, the county commissioners and our state legislators.
  4. You meet super students and make life-long friendships with families who work alongside you.
  5. Your efforts provide much needed funds for annual college scholarships and teacher grants.

What Kinds of Things Does NHSAEF Do?

  1. Officers direct the business of the organization.
  2. Committee members work on projects in particular areas: Hospitality, Programs, Membership, Publicity, Fundraising.
  3. Program activities have included: Meet the Principal/Superintendent nights, Arts Integration Workshops & Art 21 Video Sessions for National Arts & Humanities Month, a student trip to Raleigh to meet with legislators on Arts Advocacy Day, PASPort Lecture/Demos with Stanley Baird, Lula Washington Dance Theatre, Neenna Freelon, and Leslie Burwell.  Residencies with Dr. John Brown from Duke University.
  4. Fundraisers have included: Concerts & Auctions, Fashion shows, Dinner theatre, Zumba classes, yard sales, a holiday bazaar, a recycling collection drive, and the sale of concessions at NHS arts events.

If you’re lucky, you learn as much while your kids are in high school as they do—different lessons, but equally important. So that when graduation comes, you too will miss students, families, teachers, the rhythm of the school calendar, and truly understand that word we hear so often this time of year—bittersweet.

NHS and the Arts Ed Foundation need you. Contact arts department chair Leslie Burwell or NHSAEF Faculty Liaison Lori Major Carlin to volunteer for the coming year.

* Parsad, B., & Spiegelman, M. (9012). Arts education in public elementary and secondary schools: 1999-2000 and 2009-10 (NCES 2012-014). National Center for Education Statistics, Institute of Education Sciences, U. S. Department of Education. Washington, DC.

Supporting Arts & Arts Education in Chatham County: Remarks to Chatham County Commissioners

Chatham Delegates to the 2012 NC High School All-State Choral Festival from Jordan Matthews and Northwood High Schools

Investment and Achievement

Benefits of Arts in NC

In addition to improving the quality of life and promoting communities to new residents and business, the creative community offers tangible, economic benefits. As of 2009 in NC, this industry created and sustained almost 300,000 jobs, generated $10 billion in employee compensation, and produced more than $40 billion in goods and services.1 In metropolitan areas its easy to see how the Durham Performing Arts Center or the NC Museum of Art, for example, attract tourist dollars and contribute to the larger economy. In more rural communities, we need to look closer at the benefits investment in the arts brings. In Chatham County, our vibrant arts education program emphasizes these benefits. This is especially important as recent findings from longitudinal studies of over 20 years confirm that sustained involvement in strong arts programs are associated with increased college enrollment and attainment, and greater civic engagement, with higher levels of volunteering, voting, and participation in local and school politics. And these findings are most significant for at-risk and disadvantaged students.2

Arts Education at Northwood

Arts Education opportunities at Northwood include Visual Arts, Theatre Arts, Instrumental Music, Choral Music, and Dance

Arts Education in Chatham

Arts Education has had sustained support from the County Commissioners, the Board of Education, and the administration of Chatham County Schools for many years.  Investments made more than 30 years ago, continue to provide unique opportunities for students and recognition for achievements. Distinguished faculty, dedicated students, and involved community members, organizations, and businesses work to make arts education one of the hallmarks of the school system, a fact often mentioned by local real estate agents and websites.

I’d like to note highlights at Northwood High School, since that has been the focus of my volunteer work.  But certainly arts residencies at Margaret Pollard, the documentary film program at Sage, professional development workshops in the arts at Woods School, and the establishment of the new arts education foundation at Jordan Matthews also attest to strong community support and involvment across the entire county.

A decade ago in 2002, the NHS Arts Education Department was the only high school in North Carolina to receive the prestigious Creative Ticket School of Excellence Award, presented by the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, for its comprehensive and outstanding Arts Education programs.3 Today, those junior faculty members lead the current department and they and their students have continued to excel. They have earned board certification, advanced graduate degrees, statewide and national recognition, and numerous grant awards to supplement and expand learning opportunities for their students.

Northwood is one of only 12% of the public schools in the nation to offer high school dance studies.4 It has the distinction of being the oldest public high school dance program in North Carolina. In addition NHS has one of the few National Honor Societies in Dance Arts in a typical NC high school. With its establishment, Northwood now has honor societies in all arts disciplines (National Art Honor Society, Tri-M International Music Honor Society, and International Thespian Society.) We are excited that senior Julia Sloane has been selected as 2012 Regional Finalist for the NDEO Artistic Merit, Leadership, and Academic Achievement Award.

Student achievement can be seen by participation and honor recognition in the annual Scholastic Art Awards, area Marching Band competitions, NC All-District Band, NC All-State Choral Festival, Central District Band Festival, Governor’s School, and All-County Chorus. Our students attract thousands of dollars in scholarship funds to continue their studies. Last year three of the major arts departmental awards at East Carolina (Outstanding Senior in the Musical Theatre Program, Outstanding Senior in Dance Performance, and Outstanding Senior in Dance Education) all were awarded to Northwood High School alumni. Our students are pursuing undergraduate degrees in music performance, music education, theatre, visual arts, advertising, dance, fashion design, and filmaking, just to name a few. Others have graduated with honors, performed at Carnegie Hall, entered graduate programs, and begun to work professionally, not only in the arts, but as scientists, engineers, doctors, teachers, journalists, and international relief workers.

Faculty grants and community investment have provided residencies, workshops, and master classes so students have the opportunity to meet and learn from world-class performers and educators. Drama students participated in the NEA-funded Shakespeare in American Communities Program with UNC Playmakers and their teaching artist David McClutchy. Distinguished educator Dr. John Brown, head of Duke’s Jazz program, provided master classes, as did the Lula Washington Dance Company from Los Angeles. The Glenn Miller Orchestra has visited, as have performers from the Lion King national tour, the renowned musician, composer and educator Stanley Baird, and six-time Grammy nominee, jazz vocalist Nnenna Freelon. Choral instructor Marilyn Shugart was the recipient of the very first Raising Voices Grant from the Triangle Community Foundation last year to produce our All-County Choral Festival and expand that opportunity to middle school students. And Eugene Cottrell, previous national winner of the Mr. Holland’s Opus Award, was one of only two NC music educators recognized for his work by the North Carolina Symphony, receiving the 2011 Jackson Parkhurst Award.

Arts education is a vital part of our cultural life. Visual art students participate each year in the Studio Tour Opening. Band and choral students perform at civic events. The recent NHS spring musical attracted some of our largest audiences—almost 1400 for three performances of Seussical. Dance concerts regularly attract audiences of 1000. Last year’s Motors for Music Car Show had 500 visitors and this year, the organizers (the NHS Band Boosters) are expecting between 600 and 1000 visitors to Pittsboro on April 28. This organization invests $60,000 in the school music program each year.

With this year’s awards, NHSAEF will have presented $25,000 in scholarships to students for achievements in the arts since it’s founding in 2007.5 And a community business donation made possible the organization’s largest teacher grant to date, replacing 30-year-old lighting instruments in the Benjamin J. Lee Auditorium.

Your public support for the arts and arts education is a powerful incentive for the investments of parents, community members, civic organizations, and local business. We strive to be good stewards of that support, to provide the highest caliber of educational opportunities for our students, and in turn provide results you can point to with pride in your efforts to promote Chatham County.

EndNotes

  1. NC Dept. of Cultural Resources. (2009). North Carolina’s $41 billion creative industry employs nearly 300,000. Retrieved online at http://www.ncarts.org/elements/docs/NCCreativeIndustryContribution_Overview.pdf
  2.  Catterall, J. S., Dumais, S. A., & Hampden-Thompson, G. (2012) The arts and achievement in at- risk youth: Findings from four longitudinal studies. Washington, DC: The National Endowment for the Arts. Retrieved online at http://www.nea.gov/research/Arts-At-Risk-Youth.pdf
  3.  Chatham County Schools. (2011). About arts education Web page. http://bit.ly/IH1SGF
  4. Parsad, B., & Spiegelman, M. (2012). Arts education in public elementary and secondary schools: 1999–2000 and 2009–10 (NCES 2012-014). Washington, DC: US Department of Education, Institute of Education Sciences, National Center for Education Statistics. Retrieved from http://nces.ed.gov/pubs2012/2012014.pdf
  5. Northwood High School Arts Education Foundation. www.NHSAEF.org

Seniors Take Center Stage

Just before the winter holiday I got to see some excellent “performances” by students who probably don’t think of themselves as performers. I had the privilege of serving as one of the judges for Northwood’s Graduation Project.  It was a very successful night on many fronts.  First and foremost, the student presentations I saw were thoughtful, interesting, insightful, and extremely well-planned. Students have clearly taken on this relatively new graduation requirement with serious, disciplined attitudes. They have chosen unique topics and created thoughtful products. In the process, each of the judges in our session learned something new. Across the board, for every student that I have spoken with about this controversial requirement, all have dreaded it and all have said after the fact that it was a valuable experience. And compared to the pilot project 2 years ago, both the displays and the public presentations were more polished and well-crafted. Our group  learned about post traumatic stress syndrome, a Habitat for Humanity project, therapeutic massage, and creating braille children’s books!

One of the other benefits I had not anticipated was the unique opportunity it provided for the school to highlight students’ work to the community. Graduation coordinator Leslie Burwell and Principal Chris Blice welcomed more than 50 community members who came to serve as judges. The school’s culinary class provided a delicious meal. Faculty members served as moderators in each classroom. Student work from the winter art show decorated the lobby. The superintendent also came to serve as one of the judges. For people who had never been to Northwood before, it was a great introduction.

Bravo folks!

NC Arts Ed Task Force Report Submitted

From today’s NC Department of Public Instruction Arts Education Update:

S66 COMPREHENSIVE ARTS EDUCATION PLAN MOVES FORWARD
The State Board of Education appointed a task force of members from the
Department of Public Instruction and the Department of Cultural
Resources to create a Comprehensive Arts Education Development plan for
the public schools in North Carolina. The members include
representatives from NC superintendents, principals, business, parents,
the NC Community College system, the UNC system, LEA arts education
coordinators, the A+ Schools Program, the former Joint Select Committee
on Arts Education, state organizations, and representatives for each of
the arts disciplines (dance, music, theatre arts, and visual arts). In
addition to members appointed by the State Board of Education, the task
force includes a member of the House of Representatives appointed by the
Speaker and a member of the Senate appointed by the President Pro
Tempore.

The S66 Comprehensive Arts Education Plan Task Force report was
accepted by the State Board of Education and submitted to the Joint
Legislative Education Oversight Committee of the NC General Assembly on
December 2, 2010. To view the S66 report, please visit the link from the
State Board of Education page:
http://dpi.state.nc.us/docs/stateboard/meetings/2010/12/gcs/12gcs02.pdf.

This has important implications for all our students, teachers, arts organizations, and both K-12 schools and high ed.  Just imagine…

Vision for Arts Education

In today’s globally competitive world, innovative thinking and creativity are essential for all school children. High quality, standards-based instruction in the arts develops these skills and effectively engages, retains, and prepares future-ready students for graduation and success in an entrepreneurial economy. Dance, music, theatre arts, and visual arts, taught by licensed arts educators and integrated throughout the curriculum, are critical to North Carolina’s 21st century education.

Convergence

Recently,  NHSAEF, ChathamArts, & NHS Arts Ed hosted a local Creative Conversation for National Arts & Humanities Month, and our friends from EbzB, Serena Ebhardt and David zum Brunnen, presented a great interactive program on Arts Integration. Students, teachers, administrators, and community members participated in a short example as Serena & David led us through the process their students use to create oral history programs during EbzB school residencies. These theatre arts residencies can be used to enhance social studies, language arts, history or civics classes—even math and sciences coursework.

Everyone came away with a better understanding of the challenges and rewards for this kind of well-planned collaboration. And clearly the skills that can be developed (e.g., critical thinking, deductive and inductive reasoning, planning, forecasting, hypothesizing, critiquing, brainstorming, associative, thinking, attribute listing, elaborating, sequencing, evaluating, etc.) have benefits for students in multiple disciplines. [see more photos here.]

Then last weekend I had the opportunity to see a really exciting example of “real world” arts integration.  I was part of a UNC alumni travel group that visited New Bern, NC where the town is celebrating their 300th Anniversary. A highlight of the trip was a special “backstage” tour of the brand new North Carolina History Center at Tryon Palace, just two weeks prior to their Grand Opening, scheduled for October 21-24. Director Kay Williams graciously spent the day showing us this new jewel in the Department of Cultural Resources that has been more than ten years in the making. The facility includes the Pepsi Family Center for a high tech, hands-on experience, where students travel back in time to 1835 and teams work collaboratively to sail a ship, create a quilt, or write stories for the town paper.  The Regional History Museum follows the development of North Carolina from the perspective of its environmental history.  Graphics, interactive kiosks, and exhibits illuminate North Carolina’s culture of diverse peoples— European settlers, Native Americans, free and enslaved African Americans.  The complex also includes a “200 seat state-of-the-arts performing arts hall, exhibit and orientation theatres, a museum store, a waterfront café, and program and administrative space.”

This project is the result of the collaboration of a tremendous number of highly skilled, professionals and dedicated volunteers. Architects, exhibit and media designers, engineers and producers, environmental specialists called in to develop this former Superfund property —now a candidate for Silver level LEED certification. Also researchers, historians, education staff, curators, conservators, landscape architects, archeologists, horticulturalists, gardeners, historic interpreters, graphic designers, musicians, costumers, web designers, librarians, writers, fundraisers, and dozens more in business, state government, education, the arts, history and science.

Don’t miss this! As the opening weekend materials say—It’s about Time!

 

Moving Right Along…

For our next act, we’ve got an exciting program planned for October, National Arts and Humanities Month. It’s a collaborative effort and we hope to attract broad spectrum of the community …

Pittsboro, NC—NHS Arts Education Foundation, ChathamArts, and the NHS Arts Education department are partnering with Americans for the Arts to host an Emerging Leader Creative Conversation in Pittsboro on Tuesday, October 5, 2010. Creative Conversations bring together local emerging arts leaders and community members to discuss issues regarding the arts in their communities. Creative Conversations are part of National Arts and Humanities Month programs coordinated by Americans for the Arts. The event is free and open to the public. To attend, register online at http://bit.ly/bh5BnP

The local Creative Conversation features an interactive discussion with special guests EbzB Productions’ Serena Ebhardt & David zum Brunnen. Teachers, parents, students and artists are invited to learn about Arts Integration—What it is, how it works, and how it benefits students and teachers in multiple disciplines. Recognized in the North Carolina Arts Council Touring Artist Directory and in the South Carolina Arts Commission AIE Roster of Approved Artists, EbzB artists have been trained by The Lincoln Center Institute and The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts to teach Arts in Education Workshops.

Creative Conversations are free and open to the public. Last year, more than 1,500 emerging arts leaders participated in 43 locally hosted Creative Conversations held throughout the country. An interactive Google map is available online at http://artsactionfund.org/events/creative_conversations detailing where Creative Conversations are taking place. Visit the website after October to read summary reports of the events and learn what next steps to take in your community.

National Arts and Humanities Month is coordinated by Americans for the Arts. Americans for the Arts is dedicated to representing and serving local communities and creating opportunities for every American to participate in and appreciate all forms of the arts. The month-long celebration has become the largest annual celebration of the arts and humanities in the nation. With 50 years of service, Americans for the Arts is dedicated to representing and serving local communities and creating opportunities for every American to participate in and appreciate all forms of the arts. More information about Americans for the Arts, Creative Conversations, and National Arts and Humanities Month is available atwww.AmericansForTheArts.org.

EbzB Productions, Inc. develops original, touring, theatrical productions to promote integrity, self-discovery and positive transformation of individuals, artists, audiences, and communities. They believe that the performing arts encourages positive transformation through discoveries unveiled immediately and upon reflection. EbzB artists are dedicated to the promotion of dramatic art as a valuable educational tool. They are trained by The John F. Kennedy Center For The Performing Arts “Artists as Educators:  Planning Effective Workshops”, and The Lincoln Center Institute’s International Educator Program. EbzB Is also endorsed by the North Carolina Arts Council’s Touring Artists Directory. In addition to performances, EbzB Productions, Inc. is available for student workshops, residencies, and professional development seminars.  EbzB Productions – Your World Is Our Stage!   www.EbzB.org.

ChathamArts, the Chatham County Arts Council, is a not for profit organization that supports and presents the arts and artists in our community. They encourage community participation in the arts to enrich the quality of life of the county’s residents. ChathamArts fosters arts awareness and education, and encourages the use of arts as a tool for economic development. www.Chathamarts.org

The Northwood High School Arts Education Foundation (NHSAEF), a 501(c)(3) non-profit, all-volunteer organization, is a community initiative dedicated to ensuring excellence in arts education by identfying, creating, and supporting programs that enrich learning, foster student achievement, and increase community involvement. Visit NHSAEF at www.NHSAEF.org