In the Schools
Our Folk Arts in Education (FAE) project brings high caliber folk arts education to k-8 students and provides professional development trainings for artists and educators at the Folk Arts-Cultural Treasures Charter School (FACTS).
The purpose of our FAE project is to:
- Deliver high quality education and instruction in folk arts and traditional culture to Philadelphia’s children and youth
- Build the capacity of talented folk and traditional artists as teaching artists
- Enhance the capabilities of educators in incorporating folk and traditional arts into their teaching toward meeting the needs of their culturally diverse students
- Create and sustain teaching and learning opportunities that allow both adults and children to draw on community cultural knowledge as resources for facing challenging issues.
Our FAE project has several dimensions, including:
- Sponsoring two types of folk arts education experiences to engage the children and youth with teaching artists: folk art ensembles and folk art residencies, all taught by community-sanctioned experts in their cultural art form
- Providing learning opportunities for teachers and teaching artists that empower them to develop as professionals engaged in folk arts education
- Guiding teachers and administrators as they shape curriculum in which folk arts and social justice ground teaching and learning
- Learning from the many dimensions of our FAE project and sharing what we learn with others as models for using folk arts and traditional culture toward building effective urban school programs;
Our work at FACTS is also a platform for helping traditional artists to preserve and practice their art forms and to have their work seen and understood by diverse communities. Affording artists opportunities to teach their art forms is a means of supporting artistic development. Professional development and peer mentoring builds a community of artists engaged in teaching and learning.
We seek to strengthen students, artists and teachers capacity to utilize community cultural knowledge and traditions toward supporting and deepening all students’ learning and toward strengthening the relationships between schools and communities. In our FAE project, accomplished artists teach skills in traditional arts and help students learn the present-day significance of their artistic practices and the social, economic and political contexts that shaped, endangered, or perpetuated those forms. We aim to help young people to know, express and value their own culture and the culture of others, to understand how traditions and culture shape and are shaped by their social environment, and to appreciate traditional arts and culture as representations of and tools for positive social change. Our FAE project seeks to support young people in developing culturally-meaningful languages of expression, and offer practice in working collectively in creating and sustaining local art forms of value to communities.
Professional Development we offer technical assistance for folk and traditional artists who want to work in schools and community sites in our regular technical assistance workshop series. Topics vary, but we have worked with artists on such things as: how to construct a residency program, how to link folk arts to standards-based curricula, and how to get on arts education roster programs. Workshops also have provided assistance to educators hoping to develop folk arts residencies. Contact PFP to learn more.