by Tanisa Bernard, Social Networking Marketing Assistant Volunteer, Junior League of Austin
Holiday cheer was in the air on December 6 as I met with two of Theatre Action Project’s esteemed Teaching Artists in residence. Amy Carpenter is an artist who sees art in “everything.” She is a visual artist who also is involved in music and improv. Currently, she works with TAP students at Maplewood Elementary two days a week and works with students in Bastrop one day a week. Maplewood third, fourth and fifth graders have written a play for TAP which they will perform on December 16, 2011 at 4 p.m. about vampire bunny dragons and a replicator machine! “It’s dark, but very funny. I am always amazed at the kids’ creativity.”
In Bastrop, Carpenter leads the children in general theater work and self portraits. In the spring, the children will be deeply involved in the Playground Project. The Playground Project involves 10 different schools whose children will paint designs on area playgrounds to encourage physical activity among youth in partnership with the University of Texas. Carpenter’s Wishes for TAP: “That we keep doing exactly what we’ve been doing, These kids are awesome.”
Mylinh Chau is enjoying her TAP experience as well. This is her first year as a TAP artist. Her specialty involves painting, drawing, and ceramics. Chau spends four days a week at Barrington Elementary where she mentors first and fourth graders. The first graders just completed a “wish cake.” Chau says, “They made kites and attached their various wishes to them. We videotaped their pure joy as they flew the kites.”
Chau led the fourth-graders in completing life-size self portraits of what they want to be when they grow up. The children had to accessorize them with various personal items and other things from their homes.
Chau’s wishes for TAP: “I hope to be a great example for these kids. I hope we can continue to improve the program and help someone in the process.”