Welcome to UCA's new events blog!

Tuesday, January 8, 2013



Michael French
Marketing & Public Relations Coordinator
College of Performing & Visual Arts
Southern Utah University


Southern Utah University, Cedar City, Utah: As school arts programs continue to suffer nationwide, the performing and visual arts are flourishing in one Cedar City school, thanks to support from an acclaimed arts foundation and six students from Southern Utah University’s College of Performing and Visual Arts (CPVA). Under the auspices of the ArtsBridge America program and with a grant from the Sorenson Legacy Foundation, SUU students in the areas of dance, theatre arts, music, and visual arts are working within Cedar North Elementary School to provide students there with arts education. Each of the SUU students is mentored in turn by a CPVA faculty member.

SUU alumnus Melanie Skankey is the lead teacher at North Elementary for the Arts Bridge program. Skankey is a Beverley Taylor Sorenson Arts Learning Program arts specialist and a former ArtsBridge America student herself. North Elementary is a STEAM School, where the arts are emphasized as well as science, math, engineering and technology. The ArtsBridge students will focus on creating lessons that integrate science concepts. They have been working on creating innovative lesson plans this fall and will spend 25 hours in an individual class teaching the art and science unit this spring. There will be a culminating performance and exhibit called "The Big Event" in April 2013 at the Randall Theatre.

Jessie Brinson, Kelsey Hayes and Alexandria Wall work with students in the area of dance, while percussionist Marissa Brown provides musical experiences. Contributing a theatrical flair and drama foundations is Madisen Hayes, theatre arts major. Enhancing the visual experience for youngsters is Jacqueline Trujillo, an art and design major. Brinson is mentored by Chien-Ying Wang, Assistant Professor of Dance, Kelsey Hayes is supervised by Denise Purvis, Assistant Professor of Dance, while Alexandria Wall is guided by Paul C. Ocampo, Associate Professor of Dance. Dr. Lynn Vartan, Assistant Professor of Percussion and World Music, mentors Brown. Peter Sham, Associate Chair, Department of Theatre Arts and Dance, guides Madisen Hayes and Ron Spears. Assistant Professor of Drawing and Entertainment Design, works with Trujillo. The six SUU students will be working with North Elementary for two semesters.    

Michael Bahr, Director of Education for the Utah Shakespeare Festival, recognizes the value of this program at North Elementary. Bahr commented, "Art is the most valuable tool we have to teach all curriculum. This program proves that. Dancing to create geological formations, learning math through music or historical processes through theatre, students retain what they learn. Five years ago this program changed the lives of hundreds of students and solidified ten college students as successful arts teachers. I'm thrilled that this program has been revitalized."

ArtsBridge America is a network of 31 universities in 16 states and Northern Ireland, and their surrounding schools that confronts the problem of the elimination of the arts from K-12 schools. The arts are a critical component of education - they provide an alternative means to reach out to disadvantaged learners, particularly those with language acquisition delays. Through ArtsBridge projects in urban and low-income areas, using dramatic and visual arts and digital technology, students have developed their creativity and imagination, improved their language skills, increased their motivation to succeed in academic learning, and reinforced their values of peace, community and diversity. ArtsBridge is also a means for university students to provide creative service to their communities while learning the value of social activism and developing long-term commitments to help the disadvantaged.

The Sorenson Legacy Foundation is a non-profit corporation established by James LeVoy Sorenson and his wife Beverley for the purpose of promoting charitable, artistic, religious, educational, literary and scientific endeavors. The foundation is based in Salt Lake City, Utah and is qualified under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.

The Southern Utah University College of Performing and Visual Arts is comprised of nationally accredited departments of Art and Design, Music, Theatre Arts and Dance, as well as a graduate program in Arts Administration and a new Center for Shakespeare Studies. The College offers 16 different degree areas, including liberal arts Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science degrees; professional Bachelor of Music and Bachelor of Fine Arts in art and theatre degrees; and a Master of Fine Arts in Arts Administration degree. More than 60 full- and part-time faculty and staff are engaged in teaching and mentoring over 550 majors in the College. Over 1100 students enroll each year in over 195 arts classes on the SUU campus. The College presents 100 performances, lectures, presentations, and exhibitions each year. The College’s affiliate organizations include the Braithwaite Fine Arts Gallery, American Folk Ballet, Utah Shakespeare Festival, and the SUU Ballroom Dance Company. For more information about the College of Performing and Visual Arts, contact the Office of the Dean at (435) 865-8561, or by e-mail at cpvamktg@suu.edu.

No comments:

Post a Comment