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Elementary Visual Arts Academy nominated for state honor

The mother of a 1st grade student states, “It’s brilliant!
The curriculum is so intentional, and the writing-art
connection is outstanding. We are thankful for your
passion to do this!”

Engaging, enriching—words that describe the 2016 Visual Arts Academy. 

Excited, enthralled—the reaction of so many of the children experiencing this unique summer program.

Now in its fourth year, over 800 children in grades K-5 are taking part in the 2016 Visual Arts Academy.  

The Visual Arts Academy has been nominated to receive the designation of “Promising Practice.” That distinction is granted by the Indiana Department of Education to programs that use innovative approaches to deliver educational benefits. Once “Promising Practices” are identified, other Indiana districts may choose to initiate similar programs for the families they serve.

The Visual Arts Academy represents an innovative partnership developed by Penn-Harris-Madison School Corporation and the Snite Museum of Art at the University of Notre Dame. The Academy features art making and writing through the examination of original works of art from both the Snite Museum and museums around the world.

One youngster proudly asked, “Did you know  
that I am an artist?”

It is comprised of six one-week programs, running from June 6 through July 15, 2016. Each week students from a different grade level experience a diversely rich curriculum that focuses upon the creation of an identity as an artist with words as well as images.

Each day students work with the visiting artists and art teachers in art making, elementary writing teachers for writing workshop and visual thinking strategies, multi-media experience to learn about art mediums such as glass blowing or architecture. Students also spend one day at the Snite Museum.

Since its inception, the vision and mission of the Visual Arts Academy has been shared by a core group of teachers and administrators at P-H-M and Notre Dame. Under the leadership of Assistant Superintendent Dr. Kay Antonelli, the group created the curricula “from the ground up” and provided the professional development for all teachers who participate during the Academy. Over 25 elementary writing and secondary art teachers are serving the Academy this summer.

Thanks to the financial support of these contributors, the Visual Arts Academy is provided for all children free of charge.

  • From the family of a 2nd grade student:  “He doesn’t
    normally participate in things. This is the most open he
    has been, and he now has something he feels is his!”

    The Community Foundation of St. Joseph County ($50,000 grant)

  • The P-H-M Education Foundation

  • Penn-Harris-Madison School Corporation

  • The Snite Museum of Art

  • The Law Offices of May, Oberfell, Lorber

  • And various other contributors