How do K-8 teachers and artist educators continue to bring their best game to the kiddies every school year? By becoming students themselves to gain the knowledge they need through professional development courses. The only problem is that most courses come at a cost and often out of your own pocket. This summer, though, Milwaukee-based Arts @ Large is offering four artsy classes for educational pros, all of 'em completely, totally and absolutely free!
First up is Dance For Life at the Dancing Ground Studio, 527 N. 27th Street, on June 26. Through the expertise of Yaya Kambaye and Roxanne Kess of Xalaat Africa, you'll gain the mad skills to teach African Caribbean drumming and "Afrobics"--i.e. dance for fitness--to the your 3-5 graders and middle schoolers come fall. Then DanceCircus will round out the day by schooling you in various drumming and movement techniques designed to transform your students from inactive blobs behind a desk to active blurs on the dance floor.
Next is Animal Sculptor with Steve Wirtz at Cardinal Stritch University on July 7. From the 3D greenhorn to the well-versed, Wirtz will take you through the creation of a laminated paper sculpture all the way from bare frame to viewer ready. It's the hands-on, make-a-wacky-animal workshop you've been waiting for!
Then it's Bookmaking For Literacy with Robin Kinney at Cardinal Stritch University on July 15. Miltown book artist and co-owner of Bay View Book Arts Gallery Robin Kinney is your guide through three handmade book projects ensured to build elementary and middle school literacy skills. Added bonus: You get to take your books home and proudly say, "Hey, look what I made!"
Finally it's the 2-Day Multi-Media Workshop with C2 Graphics at Cardinal Stritch University on July 28 and 29. If there's anyone still out there who's reluctant to admit that digital photography and video are extremely valuable teaching tools, this course will set ya straight. Take your own photos and video the first day, then come back for a fun introduction to creative methods and uses the next. By the time you're finished, you'll be as good as the amateur digitech know-it-all down the hall!
Okay, so, whaddya gonna be doin' over the coming of weeks? Taking free pro development classes and making the most of your summer, that's what.
Arts @ Large's Ryan Hurley has informed us there's still space for you if you register by the end of this week, so go do it now!