Voxometer interviewed Kate Pett about January’s winning suggestion, “Retaining the arts in high school.” Pett, who is co-director of the Asheville City School Foundation (www.acsf.org) works to “promote the success of all Asheville City Schools students by mobilizing the community through innovative educational activities."
One such activity within the foundation is Teaching Artists Presenting in Asheville Schools (TAPAS), an artist-in-residency program within the public schools. This program gives Asheville area artists a chance to build relationships with the kids while also promoting the school system within their community. Artists who wish to participate are required to complete a three-day orientation to help them understand the special challenges Asheville teachers and students face and to develop strategies to connect their work to education. After completing the seminar, the artist's name and special talent is added to a catalog from which teachers can select, helping educators broaden the scope of their curriculum.
The artists involved see the value in the residencies arranged through TAPAS as well. One artist, a graphic designer, was so inspired by his experience that he now works full-time to help these students share their experiences and tell their story through the film-making process. Pett believes local business owners and the community as a whole feel responsible for the schools because of TAPAS and the use of the arts has a positive effect on learning. “It is well documented that kids do better in school when they are exposed to art,” says Pett. “Kids will always find a way to succeed through art integration."
Voxometer is the Universal Suggestion Box. The VoxSQUAD’s mission is to provide an outlet for anyone with a suggestion to share it, get it noticed and put it into action.
Media contact: Emily Weiner, Publicity, Voxometer