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Art for Charity: Del Valle Students Support St. Jude’s Hospital and Save the Children

by Mary Alice Carnes, Community Relations Director

A 2nd grade class at Del Valle Elementary will be presenting a charity art show of their original work to support St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital and Save the Children. The class is part of Creative Action’s After School program. Lindsay Palmer, Creative Action Teaching Artist, leads the Del Valle students who want to support charity with the proceeds from their art. The art show is set for November 29th at Tiny Park Gallery. The exhibit will feature collaborative abstract work in wood and fabric assemblage, printmaking, and painting, as well as a variety of art zines featuring hero comics, Dada poetry, scary stories, and texture/print explorations.

When I floated the idea of a charity art show by my students, they were really responsive. They decided to raise money for sick kids and kids with no homes.  They really liked the idea of helping other kids get clean drinking water and go to school.

Palmer’s Del Valle class of second graders recently won a food drive contest through Bennu Coffee benefiting the Capital Area Food Bank. Palmer’s class contributed 51 dry goods winning gift certificates to Hoboken Pies and Russell’s Bakery. The class is looking forward to enjoying pizza and cookies at the end of the semester.

The public is invited to the charity art show Thursday, November 29th from 7-10 p.m. at Tiny Park Gallery, 1101 Navasota Street, Suite 2, Austin, TX 78702 across from Hillside Farmacy at the corner of Rosewood and Navasota. 

In 2011-2012, Creative Action After School served 75 sites in 6 school districts in the greater Austin area, reaching 5,400 students.

“What I like about Creative Action is how we learned to work as a team.” – After School student

Using Music to Tell Stories

by Freddy Carnes, Artistic Associate

New Children’s Books for New World Kids

by Cassie Swayze, After School Programs Associate AmeriCorps VISTA

Earlier this month Sarah Rinner, our Elementary Program Director, shared some exciting news about our New World Kids (NWK) curricula. NWK engages children with the creative thinking process by exploring the Sensory Alphabet, including:

  • Line
  • Shape
  • Rhythm
  • Space
  • Color, and more

The addition of New World Kids to our Afterschool programs meant we were able to add a lot of new children’s books to the Creative Action library. Here are a few of my favorites:

Color Zoo, Lois Ehlert explores shape by using animals’ faces constructed out of triangles, rectangles, squares, and circle cutouts. Flipping through the pages of this clever storybook a bear face morphs into a lion; a lion becomes a rabbit; and a rabbit transforms into a mouse.

 

Lines that Wiggle, Candace Whitman explores line by following a glittery line through various escapades like the wavy lines of an octopus’ arms; the lines that sprout a seed; and rainbow lines that are way up high.

 

My Friends/Mis Amigos, Taro Gomi explores movement by following the adventures of an adorable little girl who likes to walk like her favorite animals. She climbs trees like her friend the monkey; kicks like her friend the gorilla; explores the earth like an ant; and studies like her friends the teachers.

 

 

In other Afterschool news, today is Lights on Afterschool! Lights on Afterschool is a nationwide celebration designed to call attention to the importance of afterschool programs for America’s children, families and communities.

P.S. My favorite type of pie is strawberry rhubarb.

Join us at I Spy Pie! on Saturday, October 20th at Central Market North. 12 – 3 p.m.
Family fun, arts and crafts and pie for families of all ages!

 

After School Volunteering Opportunity

by Cassie Swayze, After School Programs Associate AmeriCorps VISTA

Creative Action needs superstar After-School volunteers to assist Teaching Artists in the classroom throughout the school year. Do you love working artistically, helping students, or need a new challenge? This is a great opportunity for students of many disciplines: education, theatre, social work, art, humanities and more!

Volunteering with the Creative Action After-School program entails a once a week commitment in a dynamic after-school class exploring social themes through theatre, art, music, and puppets. As a volunteer you act as an extra pair of hands for one of our Teaching Artists (TAs) in the classroom throughout the Fall semester (September – mid-December). The hours are generally 2:30-5:30PM or 3-6PM weekly. After-School volunteers assist in a wide variety of activities:

  • Prepping art projects
  • Helping film movies
  • Leading games
  • And much, much more!

Here’s what past volunteers said about working with the After-School program:

  • “I loved volunteering at Ojeda. I think I learned more from the kids. The more valued they feel, the more invested they are in the program. [Creative Action] validates these kids’ personal experiences and gives them value.”
  • “One thing I really noticed when working with first graders was how [Creative Action] contributed to their teamwork and sharing…The activities and projects resulted in emerging leadership and individual creativity as the kids began to trust each other, the teacher and their own strengths and abilities.”

Creative Action has after-school programming at over 40 different campuses throughout Austin, Round Rock, Del Valle, Manor, and Bastrop school districts.

Contact Cassie Swayze at cassie@theatreactionproject.org or call (512) 442-8773 x107 for more information or set up an orientation.

UPDATE: Theatre Action Project is now Creative Action. Read more about our name change.

Introducing Shobie Partos

by Shobie Partos, Director of School and Community Outreach

Have you heard jokes about how Austin is one of the few places where people all the time sit around and have conversations about how great the town is? I laugh about it because I have done this multiple times.

I love living here for all the usual reasons– the music, the breakfast tacos, Barton Springs, the vibrant downtown, the heat… but I also realize that this is not always a wonderful place for everyone, and there are significant challenges for many of Austin’s residents. Like so many folks I know, we want to make a positive change here. We want to make this an even better place to live for everyone, but it is not always clear how to go about it.

And that’s why I am thrilled about my new job at Creative Action (formerly Theatre Action Project) where the arts are used as a tool to engage young people and empower them to make positive change in their lives. Through in-school, after school, and community programs Creative Action inspires youth to be:

  • Creative artists
  • Courageous allies
  • Critical thinkers
  • Confident leaders.

Isn’t that amazing?! I have never before witnessed such engaging and important programming, and I want for it to reach all of our kids.

As the Director of School and Community Outreach I book our in-school programs, and work to identify where our programs are needed. If you are interested, please contact me to find out more: shobie@theatreactionproject.org

UPDATE: Theatre Action Project is now Creative Action. Read more about our name change.

Our Superhero Teaching Artists

by Cassie Swayze, After School Programs Associate AmeriCorps VISTA

For the next week and a half, our 2011-2012 community of teaching artists launch into our Fall training intensive.  I am very excited to meet our newest cohort of teachers and welcome our returning TAs to Theatre Action Project (TAP) After-School.

Yesterday was our first training day with new, returning, elementary, and middle school Teaching Artists: nearly fifty in attendance! We packed the Ruiz Branch library and played games like Chair Swap and Superhero Factory. In Superhero Factory, teams of Teaching Artists put their heads together to create a new hero using one unique trait from each person. Using their newly acquired superhero traits they posed for the rest of the team. The activity was goofy and fun, but led to a discussion about how this game could inspire the 4C’s in students.

The TAP After-School team is so lucky to have so many intelligent, engaging, and enthusiastic Teaching Artists this year. I can’t wait to see what our Superhero TAs create with their students this semester!

Donate Supplies to TAP After-School

by Cassie Swayze, After School Programs Associate AmeriCorps VISTA

Theatre Action Project (TAP) After-School is always looking for new, used, and unusual supplies to add to our Supply Area. We stock a lot of craft supplies including:

  • scissors
  • paper
  • glue
  • glitter
  • pom-poms
  • plus much more!

TAP’s supply arsenal isn’t limited to what you might find at Hobby Lobby, though. We acquire a lot of recycled and materials from thoughtful donors and local recycling centers like Ecology Action. Anything and everything a teaching artist might need including: shoe boxes, paper towel rolls, buttons, brads, bubble-wrap, bamboo, newspaper, is organized and housed at the TAP office.

There are a few easy ways to donate to TAP After-School. All donations are tax-deductible and will be used to inspire learning in a TAP classroom throughout the school year. You can visit our Amazon Wishlist to donate either:

You can donate directly through Amazon and your purchase will be shipped to TAP. Or you can drop off gently used books, electronics (digital cameras, tripods), school, and craft supplies to the TAP office. Contact Cassie Swayze at cassie@theatreactionproject.org or 512-442-8773 x109 to arrange a time to donate.