Art Partners / Community Outreach
Teaching 21st century skills through the Arts!
"No boy is going to trash talk to me, after this!"
— Overheard from a Norwalk Housing Authority student in Art Partner's classes
Since 1992, Silvermine Arts Center's Art Partners Program has been providing free-or-subsidized professional Teaching Artists to design and execute exciting arts classes to under-served students in Stamford and Norwalk public schools. The distinctiveness of Art Partners centers on the quality of our Teaching Artists and their close collaboration with classroom teachers or program directors to augment student academic achievement. The new Common Core requires students to think creatively, deeply understand the materials and consider other perspectives–the foundation of our unique art programs that assist students in reaching their full potential through joyous self-expression.
With the help of our donors, in the past academic year our programs engaged over 700 students, with (over) 4500 hours of classes!
Leveling the Playing Field
Connecticut public schools have the largest achievement gap in the country. To help close this gap our Teaching Artists work with classroom teachers to provide classes that merge art with literacy skills, history, geography, math or science.
The Gates Foundation study of skills needed in the 21st C. found that the most important attributes evaluated in new hires are the ability and willingness to learn new skills, critical thinking and problem solving. The next most important are collaboration and teamwork, interpersonal communication and the ability to analyze and synthesize information.
This insight validates the fundamental importance of the Art Partners programs that utilize
the arts to teach:
Critical thinking skills
Believing that students cannot become what they cannot imagine, these programs empower them to recognize that imagination leads to creativity which, in turn, leads to personal and group innovation.
A few examples of our creative work include:
- 3rd grade Brookside Elementary. Collaboration with City of Norwalk and the Fodor Farm Community Garden. Created nine 6' tall "Garden People" permanent sculptures, with science and literacy research.
- An annual 20-foot thematic mural, researched, designed and executed by the entire 5th grade at Silvermine Elementary each year as a parting gift to their school.
- Nathan Hale Middle School. After-school program that runs the full academic year and provides skills in drawing, painting and printmaking, while learning communication skills through peer critiques.
- Various schools. Cartooning classes that reflect upon bullying or enhance the science water curriculum.
- Norwalk Housing Authority. Youth created costumes and learned traditional rhythmic dances to perform in front of over 400 people, at our annual ArtsFest with a Brazilian Maracatu troupe!
We have many more requests than we can fulfill without additional funding. Please consider a gift to help us provide free and subsidized classes for under-resourced local communities.
For more information contact Outreach Education Director, Sophia Gevas, at 203 966-9700, ext. 19 or via email.