Whew! We began our great blog experiment with optimism, here, this past February. Now, 10 months and 65 (now 66!) posts later, we’re excited to reach a milestone at the end of our first calendar year.
Looking back, we can count contributions from Right Brain artists, teachers, a principal, committee members, community advocates, and every staff person on our roster. We’ve provided sound clips, quotes from children, calls to action and documentation from our work in the classroom.
We list, below, in neat categories, some of our faves from 2010. Use these selections to get caught up, if you haven’t been following regularly. If you’ve been with us all along, help us leap into nostalgia:
REFLECTIONS FROM THE CLASSROOM
• Hearing it straight from students.
Our Program Specialist, Kendra Yao, compiles some of her favorite clips from our Imagination Interviews with students, which reflect on Right Brain experiences.
• What a quilt can say about a community.
Kendra shares documentation from a powerful residency at Ardenwald Elementary (Milwaukie), in which quilt squares made by each student in the school through a Right Brain artist residency unified the building’s sense of community and christened the hallways of a brand new building.
(…In fact, there is so much great content about work we’ve done in the classrooms, we suggest you just view the entire Stories from the Field category on the blog.)
• Our best testimony of all time.
We post the video clip of Holly Wilson’s earth-shattering testimony at City Hall in March. Wilson, then a sixth grade teacher at Rigler K-8 School (Northeast Portland), explains the impact of Right Brain on her teaching and students.
ADVOCACY AND COMMUNITY BUILDING
• Everyday Advocacy: Be your own expert.
Right Brain Advocacy Committee Chair Tim DuRoche lists his favorite resources to educate oneself about the state of arts education. (This is one of a three-part series.)
• Grassroots, and treetops and canopy…oh my! The statewide arts education conversation.
Deb Vaughn of the Oregon Arts Commission invites readers to participate in rare conversations that intend to bring together arts educators, parents, advocates from across the state. Two stories on Oregon Public Broadcasting provide opportunities to bring the arts education issues that we think about every day to a broader audience. (This one of a three-part series.)
THE NUTS + BOLTS OF OUR PROGRAMMING
• Dancing with joy for Any Given Child
Our Program Manager Marna Stalcup tells the story of our acceptance to the Kennedy Center’s Any Given Child program (with co-applicants in our four partnering school districts and the City of Portland), which will provide us with the structure for an intensive region-wide audit of arts education infrastructure and a long-term plan for sustainability. She also give nods as to what’s ahead in the early stages of the process.
• A Conversation with Deborah Brzoska, Right Brain’s Professional Development Partner
A Conversation with Dennie Palmer Wolf, Right Brain’s Evaluation Partner
No one likes listening to their own voice, thus I hesitate somewhat to re-post these. But despite my own rambling, I was able to conduct and record some interesting interviews with both our Evaluation Partner and Professional Development Partner, both national experts in their fields.
WHY THIS WORK MATTERS
• Reflections on choosing to give.
Members of the community tell us why they felt motivated to make a year-end contribution to Right Brain.
• TheRightBrainInitiative.org (Because all gray matter matters.)
At the unveiling of our new website, Lori Jones of local creative agency NORTH tells us why they’ve taken Right Brain on as a “labor of love” client.
• What is the value of arts education? A child’s perspective.
In honor of the first annual national Arts in Education Week in September, we share perspectives from children on the value of creativity in schools, gathered from our traveling exhibit (part of a four-part series).
• Arts in Education Week: The Congressional Resolution
We share the entire text of the moving Congressional Resolution that gave 2010 this country’s first national Arts in Education Week.
SOME PEOPLE TOLD US THEY THOUGHT THESE ENTRIES WERE FUNNY, or just plain well-written. We think the bar was probably pretty low on the humor front, but accept the compliments.
So, what kind of content do we look forward to creating in 2011? More conversation about issues. More guest bloggers from partners and advocates. More testimony to the importance of this work—and in multimedia formats. More evidence of why our approach is working. More reflection on what we’re learning as we apply our vision to the reality of this unique community.
Have a blog idea? Contact rburrell@TheRightBrainInitiative.org with proposals.