Posts Tagged 'Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts'



Community Connection: Booker T. Washington Learning Lab

Being a part of the Dallas Arts District has its distinct advantages. One advantage is being located within walking distance of other arts institutions, making it easier to develop close and in-depth partnerships. For instance, we have just started the second year of our Learning Lab partnership with Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts. In this partnership, DMA Education staff work with Visual Arts teachers to lead experiences and projects at the DMA and at the school (the school also partners in this way with the Dallas Theater Center and the Dallas Symphony Orchestra).

This year, Andrea and Shannon are working with Krystal Read and Leslie Eames and their junior portfolio classes.

Krystal Read

Describe this class and what you envision your students doing throughout the year.

Krystal: It’s a great opportunity since it’s taught by both a school instructor and museum educator, and students will be learning about different aspects of the art world. So, we’ll cover things like aesthetics, museum practices, and a little bit of contemporary art.  A lot of what they’ll be doing in class at school is preparing for their portfolio and getting career-ready.  I think the museum helps expose them to that type of professionalism.

Leslie: It is kind of a dual class, with two parts combined together.  One part is preparing the students for their senior year by writing resumes, making a portfolio, and all the things that come with being a senior at Booker T., such as a senior show and a portfolio day with visiting colleges.  We’re also preparing students who might want to go right into the workforce by showing them what the world has to offer them as artists.  The other half of our class is Learning Lab and working with the DMA and Shannon Karol.  Shannon visited our classroom earlier this week, and the excitement level was astounding. The students are very excited to learn about the behind-the-scenes preparation for exhibits.  Many don’t realize that you’re often not just an artist; you’re also a critic and a curator.

Leslie Eames with Gary Pierce Jr. and her son Madden

What are you most excited about or looking forward to in this partnership?

Krystal: I’m most excited about the interactive experiences and that so much of our class is taking place outside of the classroom.  I’m organizing an opportunity for them to possibly do an earth-friendly installation at Klyde Warren Park.  The students are doing something different in this class; a lot have a more classical, traditional training in art, so we’re forcing them to step outside the box.

For me, it’s also so exciting because I started off in museum education and I wanted to do more teaching.  I’m excited that those paths have finally crossed back over and somehow synced back together.

Leslie: I am excited that I get to learn as much as the students about the DMA.  I had no idea that I would be teaching this class, or that it existed.  As I met with my supervisor before school started, we went over course expectations and I just couldn’t believe what an awesome job I had and that I get to learn with the students.

What was a highlight of your summer vacation? 

Krystal: This past summer, I was overwhelmed with weddings, and I’m getting married myself. We’ve gone to so many weddings in the past few months.  We went to Houston for a wedding, and the next morning we went to The Breakfast Klub, a soul food brunch café that was amazing.  Breakfast is my favorite meal; I just love it.  As silly as it sounds, I was so excited about having good food.

Leslie: The highlight of my summer was taking a month off between my last job and this job and spending that month with my five-year-old son, which is something I’ve never been able to do.  He didn’t know what summer was; I’ve had him in Montessori up until now, so he didn’t know people had summers off.  We took a train ride to Oklahoma and a couple of different road trips, and made sure we had all the summer fun we could have.  We both learned we have summer vacation every year to look forward to.

Look for future blog posts about the fun and exciting experiences we’ll share with these students and teachers throughout the 2012-13 school year!

Melissa Nelson
Manager of Teaching in the Community

Seldom Scene: Installing Works by 2011’s Young Masters

On Saturday we opened the Young Masters exhibition in our main Concourse. The exhibition features forty-eight selected works created by Advanced Placement® Studio Art, Art History, and Music Theory students from thirteen Dallas-area high schools participating in the AP Fine Arts Incentive Program. In a departure from the traditional studio art exhibition featuring original 2D and 3D works of art, this year the exhibition includes original essays written by AP Art History students in response to works in the DMA’s collections, as well as original four-minute compositions by AP Music Theory students. Here are a few images from last week’s installation:

Photography by Adam Gingrich, Dallas Museum of Art Marketing Assistant

Community Connection: Our Friends and Neighbors

Dear loyal blog readers,

We have a new summer blog post schedule.  Look for new posts on Wednesdays and Fridays.  Have a fabulous summer!

The opening of the AT&T Performing Arts Center last fall brought our friends at the Dallas Theater Center (DTC) to the ever-growing Dallas Arts District.  Having comfortably settled into their new home at the Dee and Charles Wyly Theatre, the DTC has developed programs and collaborations as innovative as the building itself.  Lisa Holland, Director of Education and Community Programs at the DTC, gives us a peek behind the scenes.

Tell us about your new home at the Wyly Theatre.
The Wyly Theatre is remarkable – there’s not another theater like it in the entire world.  The flexibility that it affords is unparalleled and I think that we, as the primary tenants, are going to learn about this building as time goes on.  I think the possibilities are going to be limitless in this building.  I also think our patrons are going to be the lucky beneficiaries of seeing what this building can do.  It’s like a giant transformer.  What that provides to the patron in terms of the audience to artist relationship is going to be powerful and immediate. There’s nothing like it.  

Also, the synergy between other organizations in the Arts District and the potential collaborations that exist now is so thrilling.  I think about how we can collaborate with our friends and family at the Arts District in ways that will be really engaging and exciting.  To walk down the street and see who you’ll run into, or walk down the street and have a meeting at the DMA – it’s exciting. 

Do you ever consider integrating or thinking about works of art related to your programs?
Absolutely.  In the past, we’ve incorporated a visual arts component in our SummerStage program.  I believe that whatever kind of artist you are, you need to “feed your hopper”.  In other words, you pour into yourself different experiences, whether it’s a trip to the zoo or going for a walk and looking at leaves.  You never know what will inform your work as an artist.  

Also, we deal with a lot of visual arts formal elements like color, line, and composition in the theater.  And, we have had collaborative events with the DMA in the past, such as sending artists to the DMA and working with Arts & Letters Live.

Tell us about the Shannon and Ted Skokos Learning Lab, your new partnership with Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts.
It was brand new this year, and it was a resounding mutual success. Last spring, we auditioned the rising juniors and from that group chose eighteen seniors.  The Learning Lab has three components.  Kevin Moriarty (DTC Artistic Director), Charlton Gavitt (Booker T. Washington High School Theater Cluster Faculty), and I team-taught the class component, which occurred every other day, all year long.  The second component is a twenty-hour internship that students complete outside of class hours.  The final component is a performance project, in which we paired the students with our professional acting company, and they performed ten scenes in the Wyly Theatre with the professional actors.  The students also came to every single show we produced this year, free of charge.  This is a super exciting program, and I don’t think anywhere else has that sort of integrated relationship between a school and a professional theater with that kind of access.  The program is a great example of the kind of collaboration that can happen in the Arts District – it was so simple to walk across the street, teach, and walk back to my office.

How did you come to your position as Director of Education & Community Programs?
I grew up in the theater.  My parents took me to theater and I’ve been a theater student my whole life.  After I earned my graduate degree in directing, I was hired as one of two artistic directing interns at the Dallas Theater Center thirteen years ago.  I was hired to work in the artistic office after my internship year, and I basically never left.  I defected into the education department about halfway through my tenure, but that made sense because my undergraduate degree is in theater education.

What program/performance are you most looking forward to this summer?
We have a program called SUPERStage (SummerStage’s alter ego), where we have theater day camps for kids ages 4-14. I’m also looking forward to our summer production It’s a Bird…It’s a Plane…It’s SupermanI’m so excited about having a mainstage show running concurrently with our SUPERtage program.  Our SUPERStage students will have access to what we do in a primary way, and we’re going to enfold into the curriculum what is happening on stage so it becomes a learning lab of sorts.  It’s going to be awesome.  Superman – what can you say – there’s flying  –  it’s Superman!

Melissa Nelson
Manager of Teaching in the Community


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