Featured Video

A Work Based Learning Program at Vital Theatre

“What I learned is I can’t go through my life silent. Everybody has something in them.”
Caitlin Perkins, Grade 11
Brooklyn Theatre Arts High School

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Real farm life, at the intersection of arts and agriculture

by Amy Mayer, Harvest Public Media “Art is to stop and make you think,” she said. “That’s the goal of what we do, right? Is to put something out there to change an image or to update a perception.” Artists use their work to understand the human experience. So here in America’s breadbasket, many artists turn their eyes on Midwestern farming. The intersection of agriculture and art features a lot more than amber waves of grain. In a living room converted to a theater for the evening, Ethan Peterson and Madeleine Russell portray the characters from Mary Swander’s play, “VANG.” In it, the actors share the emotional stories of four immigrant couples who farm in Iowa. Swander used transcriptions of conversations with Hmong, Mexican, Sudanese and Dutch farmers to create the play. “I'd written another play called ‘Farmscape,’” said Swander, who is Iowa’s poet laureate and an English professor at Iowa State University, “that was a verbatim play, a sample based on interviews of people in all sorts of different areas in the changing farm landscape. And I worked on that with my students and it toured extensively in Iowa and the Midwest, out to New York, Colorado.” The success of “Farmscape” helped propel “VANG” into more communities. And the reception the plays have received, especially in rural locales, has led Swander and Fred Kirschenmann, of Iowa State University’s Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture, to consider how the messages of the arts might help bridge … [Read More...]

Featured News

Artists Gather at RAC to Discuss Possible Actions.

Credit Willis Arnold/St. Louis Public Radio

Artists Discuss Actions After Week of Protests in Ferguson

 By Willis Ryder Arnold Racial divides — in St. Louis, the arts community and the nation — were the focus Wednesday night as   artists gathered at the St. Louis Regional Arts Commission (RAC) to talk about Michael Brown’s death. RAC held the gathering for artists to process the week’s events in Ferguson and discuss how […]

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Mayor De Blasio Gives $23 Million Boost to Arts Education in NYC

Sarah Cascone, Thursday, July 3, 2014   Mayor Bill de Blasio is responding to charges that New York city’s public schools are neglecting student’s arts education in a big way, funneling an additional $23 million into the program’s budget for 2015 and pledging to hire 120 new art teachers for the fall, reports the New […]

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P.S. Art 2014: Student Artworks at The Met

 As a teacher I have witnessed firsthand the transformative powers of The Arts.  Students learn to express themselves in ways that could never be accomplished through an algorithm or literary analysis.  The Metropolitan Museum of Art offers P.S. Art, an annual exhibition of work by talented young artists from New York City’s public schools, showcases […]

Today, Children, We’re Not Going To Do A Show

“This isn’t about a single group of kindergartners, but about our core values for all students – that the arts are not disposable, that they are not frivolous, and that they can in fact prepare students for life.” Howard Sherman, Arts Administrator and Producer Of course, on the face of it, it’s simply the dumbest […]

A Work Based Learning Program at Vital Theatre

“What I learned is I can’t go through my life silent. Everybody has something in them.” Caitlin Perkins, Grade 11 Brooklyn Theatre Arts High School

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Latest Testimonial

Testimonial #38: LindaAnn Loschiavo, Journalist, Dramatist, and a long time magazine columnist

How has your life been indelibly touched by a teacher who utilized the arts for whatever reason and acknowledge how they were instrumental in breaking the mold to allow you to become who you are today? I had the best “teachers” . . . every talented performer I admired in a Broadway show taught me […]

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