Block Printing with 2 Lovely Ladies!

Friends, whiskey, sharp carving tools… sounds like fun on a Saturday night to me! It all started with a friend and colleague giving free guitar lessons to 2 fellow colleagues/friends during lunch. One of the perks to working with creative people! Though we all had some very, VERY, basic knowledge of the guitar, he had his work cut out for him. About 2 months and 10 cords later I could almost keep a beat! My 6 and 8 year old think I’m a pro and we should start a band!!

So as a way to say thank you for putting up with us for 2 months with no pay, the 3 of us created a lino-cut block print of his adorable baby boy, Oscar.  Surprisingly no one was injured and we were done just in time for the holidays!

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CAPE Event @ Chicago Artists’ Coalition

Chopin Elementary Music Educator, Arturs Weible and CAPE Teaching Artist, Lisa Golda, are pictured below presenting their brilliant arts integration work at CAPE’s annual event Convergence; Light Up Creativity.  To see their work go to http://www.portfoliodesignproject.org and click Chopin!

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Researching for a New Project!

It seems like 9 out of 10 artists have a children’s book  on the back burner. Well, this is mine. Not to mention having to young kids and constantly finding and collecting stories and intriguing illustrations that remind of my own ideas. When a colleague of mine (who has a background in music and editing, expressed that she too has always wanted to publish a children’s book, we got right to work. Having a partner to collaborate with has brought structure to this process. It’s alway helpful to partner with someone who has a whole different skill set and perspective, you both bring something unique to the project. The book is still in its early phases…more to come!

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Young Audiences Presentation – Baltimore Chapter

What a great way to spend the government shut down! The US Department of Education’s Annual Project Directors Conference was canceled yet again (Hurricane Sandy did it last year). That didn’t stop us from taking a short road trip from D.C. to Baltimore to present CAPE’s work to Young Audiences. They are in the early phases of figuring out how to conduct research on their programs, so YA was interested in hearing more about CAPE’s research practices; how we began researching programs over 10 years ago and how far we’ve come. CAPE has received funding for a number of US DOE AEMDD grants that have allowed us to dig deep into arts integration practices. I manage the Portfolio Design Project (www.portfoliodesignproject.org), a 4 year, research based program that students, teachers, and principals through developing portfolio systems for students and teachers while integrating music and language arts or visual arts and language arts. In some cases, arts integration has caught on so much so that integration is happening (for 1 project) between language arts, visual art, music, gym, technology, social studies, and library. Here’s the link for this project http://www.portfoliodesignproject.org/talcott-y3-g6-work-plan.

We also visited the Visionary Museum for Outsider Art in Baltimore (www.avam.org). Lots of fascinating art and the best gift shop I’ve ever seen in a museum which turns out to be Chicago based Uncle Fun’s 2nd store (www.unclefunchicago.com). If you’re a fan of Uncle Fun on Belmont, this place is just as good if not better!

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When Work and Home Come Together

My work trip to D.C. was transformed into a family road trip. I’m always looking for opportunities to travel with my kids, something I didn’t experience much in my youth or in adult life for that matter. I’m a firm believer in road trips long and short, alone or with family or friends. During my past 3 years as a program manager at CAPE, I have traveled with in the US more than I ever have.

We walked the National Mall, saw all of the major monuments, visited many of the Smithsonian Museums, took a day trip to Alexandria, and some days just hung out in Dupont Circle (near our hotel).

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Vandercook Letterpress @ Columbia with My Bogan HS Students!

Antwonn Minor learning how to operate a Vandercook Press at Columbia College’s Center for Book and Paper Arts during their annual Printer’s Ball.

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Getting Messy; Our Annual Ceramic Christmas Ornaments

It’s become a tradition to get messy with clay and make Christmas ornaments for friends and family. This is all thanks to one of the most dedicated, knowledgeable, patient, and loving art teachers I know, Marcia Kauss. I was first introduced to Marcia during the fall of 2005, when I was very pregnant with my first born, Alexandra. It was my first teaching artist gig as the lead instructor- no longer an assistant- Kinze Elementary School. Marcia was the art teacher/sign language interpreter that my partner and I worked with. I spent 6 lovely years working with Marcia at Kinzie, but we continue to keep in touch. Every year along with her clay curriculum, Marcia would give us a hunk of clay to work with at home then fire our mini sculptures in her kiln. As an artist mom, I welcomed the opportunity to get creative and messy with my little ones!

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