The Arts Alive! model incorporates intensive professional development for educators and teaching artists, teaching artist placements in the classroom, and in-school performances and arts-rich field trips. Learn more about the Arts Alive program.
This sponsored project makes available the dynamic methods and applications of music, dance and art therapies to special education teachers and students with disabilities in Austin. An art therapist, assigned according to teacher request, is placed in a classroom for one year (20 weeks/one hour per week), where they work alongside the teacher - using the arts to address the social, communication and learning needs of the individual student(s). Special education teachers are trained in how to integrate arts into their classrooms using an attachment based, multi-sensory experiential learning framework. Teachers have the opportunity to work with a therapist from the modality of their choice, weekly, for a period of one school year.
This program was initiated under the auspices of the Marny Paul Arts Center (MPAC) in 2001 and has provided art therapists for four years within the Austin Independent School System (AISD). Starting with 2 classrooms in 2001, it is expected to serve up to 12 AISD special education classrooms on an annual basis. With the closure of MPAC in 2004, VSA Texas is sponsoring Accessible Arts and will work with the program coordinators and therapists to expand programs and services to additional classrooms in Central Texas. It is also planned to offer after-school and weekend art classes to students with disabilities on a limited basis, 4-5 weeks per class/one - two hours per class.
Through Accessible Arts, teachers learn how to reach all students, enliven curricula, and invite a greater level of participation, motivation, and excitement in the classroom. Students in turn develop important skills that assist them with their individual learning, emotional, and cognitive challenges so that they may meet their full learning and creative potential. Through an engaging arts program, students discover along with their peers the power of the arts.
Students in the Accessible Arts program at Mathews Elementary.
For more information contact:Kalila Homann, Accessible Arts Coordinator