Have a young photographer in your family? Located in Brattleboro, Vermont, the In-Sight Photography Project offers classes and equipment (regardless of ability to pay) to students aged 11 to 18. Besides learning darkroom techniques and digital photography software, the program offers an environment of fun and respect rarely found in arts programs for the young. The volunteer teachers bring new skills and points of view to each session, from the basics of how to use a camera to making your own pinhole to executing your own digital animation short. You'll find me teaching there, as I have since moving to Brattleboro in 2008. The In-Sight Photography Project
You'll find imaginative photo and art classes for adults at Rock River Studio in South Newfane, Vermont. Photographer Chris Triebert and Designer Carol Ross offer new art classes throughout the year, as well as retreats for women. Students have come away raving about how fun and exciting the classes are. Treat yourself to something special! Rock River Studio
The Library of Congress isn't just for books. Images that have become part of the American consciousness are ours to explore, online, for free, including images from the Civil War, Farm Securities Administration, Jazz Portraits, Vintage Posters, and much, much more. Learn the stories behind the icons. Library of Congress
There are many compelling documentaries on the positive developmental, social and economic impacts of the arts and arts education. Whether you are looking to be inspired as an individual or for classroom aids, here are a few stellar films to broaden your horizon:
Mad Hot Ballroom - New York City public school students find dignity, confidence and critical social skills studying couples dancing.
Favela Rising - Politically electrified music and youth percussion classes staunch the bleeding drug wars of Rio's slums. The musicians (all former drug soldiers) have an almost miraculous impact on their community, reducing drug soldier recruits, healing trauma and building constructive relationships with a police force formerly known for corruption and massacre.
Paperclips - A homogeneous small town school in Tennessee studies the holocaust, transforming teachers and students alike. The project gained national and international attention as the students received 25,000 pieces of mail in an effort to collect 6 million paperclips as a way to conceptualize the Jewish dead. The project culminated in a children's holocaust memorial built from one of the box cars used to transport victims to concentration camps.
Rize - Street youth of South Central L.A. invent a new form of dance so cathartic, beautiful and athletic it has the power to transform, release and renew the spirits of those leading difficult lives.
Heavy Metal in Baghdad - Once again, visceral self expression has the power to sustain and heal the soul in war. Follow the only Iraqi heavy metal band as they struggle to live and rock in a war zone.