Stacey Ward Kelly and Jennie Duke are two of 15 educators chosen nationwide from New York, Chicago and Los Angeles to be in the Art21 Educators program, a year-long professional development initiative designed to cultivate and support K-12 art educators interested in bringing contemporary art, artists, and themes into their classrooms.
Art21 Educators is a program in conjunction with the Peabody Award-winning Art:21—Art in the Twenty-First Century, the only prime time national television series focused exclusively on contemporary art. Ward Kelly and Duke will create curriculum and document their process during this year long initiative and be filmed by a crew for use in documentaries that will be available for teachers to use throughout the country.
Ward Kelly is founder of the Beacon Art Salon (BAS) and teacher at Sargent Elementary school and Duke teaches studio and digital art at Beacon high school. This summer they attended a weeklong workshop in New York City to develop units of study designed for implementation during the subsequent academic year. They were given the opportunity to work with Art21 staff, visiting artists, and guest presenters to learn strategies for integrating related themes and working processes into the classroom.
“The amazing thing here is that we are on the cutting edge of teaching art and connecting our students to the world of contemporary art,” said Ward Kelly. “This summer we were challenged to look at big questions as a driving force in designing curriculum and we are now looking to teach art the way art is made. This may sound simple but it's actually quite revolutionary in the world of art education which has it's own limiting traditions and paradigms.”
Ward Kelly and Duke will be presenting a professional development workshop for fifty visual art teachers in the Beacon and Newburgh City School District’s titled “Teaching with Big Questions - The art of teaching contemporary art” on November 3rd.
A sneak preview of the fifth season of Art:21
will be held at BEAHIVE on Tuesday, October 6th. The series premieres on PBS Wednesday the 7th.