Artists-in-Schools Program 2009 (Pilot)

In 2009, five grants of $4,000 were available to artists for 20 working days across terms three and four in the ACT's five early childhood schools. An open Expression of Interest process was undertaken in July 2009, inviting applications from artists who could relate well to children, and could communicate, discuss and demonstrate their art and creative thinking processes. The Expression of Interest process was open to all art forms. The assessment was based on strong and innovative artistic concepts, suitability of the artists, as well as the extent to which the project created opportunities for teachers to expand their skills and knowledge.  

Details of the successful projects are below.

Isabella Plains Early Childhood School

Artist: Francis Owusu (Dance)

Project: Space Jam

This project was about using popular artistic forms of dance in hip hop and break dance to provide students with strategies to think and learn, view and express themselves through using a wide range of loco motor movements. The project had two integral components - body movements and space exploration. The project called on students to develop problem solving skills that arise from using different environments. The project ended with a performance to the school community.

Lyons Early Childhood School

Artist: Cathy Laudenbach (Visual Arts)

Project: I am a kid and this is me

This project was an integrated photography project working with children, teachers and parents in small groups, building many skills including confidence, self awareness and self esteem, as well as creative thinking through encouraging the children to photograph themselves, their lives and their families. The project aimed to build a picture of the school community through all the children contributing images on the topic of 'I'm a kid and this is ME!' The result was an exhibition of prints, plus a slide show for display in the school foyer.  

Narrabundah Early Childhood School

Artist: Linda Davy (Visual Arts)

Project: Focus on healthy eating and lifestyle through ceramics and photography

The project aim was to promote an understanding of healthy foods and a healthy lifestyle through the making of a cookbook by the students. The development of the cookbook involved the children painting ceramic plates, sharing family recipes and photographing the plates for inclusion in the book. There was a combination of individual and group activities throughout the project. A successful element was the creation of a group sculpture, as well as the discussion of healthy eating and family recipes.

O'Connor Cooperative School

Artist: Zsuzi Soboslay (Visual Arts, Theatre)

Project: Little Things in Big Places

The aim of this project was to introduce some theatre-making process to young children. The primary objective at the introductory stage was to teach some elementary body awareness and tools for what is called 'warm-up'. The secondary stage sought to provide a framework for creative thinking, and develop work around gesture and expression. The final stage was bringing shape to children's ideas and process, and shaping a short presentation/performance. Stick puppets were produced, as well as three large extending puppets with the assistance of puppet maker Lizzie Paterson.

Southern Cross Early Childhood School

Artist: Dianna Nixon (Multi Arts, Music and Theatre)

Project: Music Drama Song

This project aimed to encourage the young people at Southern Cross Early Childhood School to feel confident using their voices and to actively participate in the creative process. Using music, movement, drama and games, they worked together to experience music and singing - a process which culminated in a shared activity with parents, staff and students as the audience. As the theme for the project, they explored the many languages spoken within the school community.