DNACA’s Arts in Education (AIE) Program is a partnership program with the Del Norte County Unified School District. Each year, usually in the spring, after accepting new applications from local and regional artists in the fall, DNACA sends a varying pool of 9 to 15 local artists -- representing 12 to 25 different arts media -- into to K-8 schools all over the district, i.e. county, to give a variety of arts workshops and performance demonstrations. These artists receive professional compensation for their time. In 2008-09, the AIE program reached 56 classrooms around the county, and touched more than 1230 students.
Media: Over the years, hands-on arts workshops have included acrylic painting, bookmaking, pencil drawing, paper making, pastels, print making, silk painting, poetry, watercolor, felt making, clowning, dance movement, bookmaking, ballroom dancing and more. Each hands-on workshop consists of one to three classroom visits, usually coming to a total of between two and three hours of in-class instruction and arts projects. The number of visits is left up to the discretion of the artist, and is often based on grade level. Each performance/demonstration consists of one hour-long visit to the classroom. Over the years, performance/demos have included cartooning, Native American storytelling, stories from around the world, exploring guitar music, string quartet music, fretted instruments and a percussion demonstration, among others.
Some History: DNACA’s AIE Program began in 1983-84 with a pilot program in the Del Norte County Unified School District. To develop a model for the program, an “artists in the schools” committee was formed, consisting of a professional artist, a classroom arts instructor, a professional artist/art therapist, a high school student, and the then-DNACA coordinator. With administrative streamlining and occasional expansion or contraction, the model developed by this committee has been used in the Del Norte public schools for the past 25+ years.
The Program & Some History: Since 2006, DNACA has facilitated an Artist in Residence in clay -- Rika Blue, of Talking Crow Studio -- in the Del Norte County schools. In 2006, supported by a grant from the Humboldt Area Foundation, the artist worked at Bess Maxwell School, giving classes in clay creation to most of the school's K-5 student population, as well as kiln instruction to its teachers. Since 2007, supported by a grant from the California Arts Council's Artists in Schools (AIS) Program Rika's residency has been at Crescent Elk Middle School, into which all the 6th and 7th graders around Crescent City are are funneled. Each year, the artist works with two classrooms of eighth graders, giving them in-depth instruction in ceramics, and also works with as many other sixth through eighth grade students as there is time and budget to do so, giving them shorter-term workshops in clay creation. In 2008-09, this residency reached 18 classrooms and touched more than 300 students.
New in 2010: A recent grant from the Carl Nielsen Memorial Fund, a fund of the Humboldt Area Foundation, has made it possible to begin a ten-week ballroom dance residency in the spring of 2010. The artist is Debbie Weist of Dance with Debbie, who will be instructing 20 middle school-aged students each at Redwood and Smith River schools (40 students total). Students will work with the artist twice a week, learning the meregue, rumba, foxtrot and east coast swing. There will be a culminating community-based juried performance in the late spring; watch our Del Norte Community Arts Calendar for more information!