Alexa Armenta
Mask Making/Visual Storytelling, Grace Hudson Elementary School

In this multi-disciplinary art workshop, students construct masks based on legends and stories using a variety of materials. Along with hands-on creative work and theater improvisation games, students discuss and learn about the history of mask-making in world cultures. Using theatrical storytelling and wearing their mask creations, students will perform selected stories in the annual school Talent Show.

Anne Beck and Dietmar Krumrey, Lost Coast Culture Machine
The Process and Practice of Handmade Paper, Mendocino K-8

Students learn basic hand papermaking skills and creative techniques while being introduced to the long history and evolution of papermaking, as well as the development of technologies used in its manufacture in the present day. Using their own article of clothing, students will cut and beat cotton into pulp to create handmade cotton rag paper. Other techniques taught will include embedding, embossing, and collage, but will focus primarily on pulp printing. This program seeks to spark students’ interest in both the story and craft of handmade paper.

Dorje Bond
Textiles, Laytonville Elementary & Middle Schools, Branscomb Elementary School

Using a variety of projects such as sewing and kite making, students learn how to transform everyday objects into the extraordinary. The program introduces textile art while further enhancing students’ technical abilities, and students learn important vocational skills in the process.

Chris de Firmian
Butterfly House Project, Potter Valley Elementary School
Wooden Sailboat Model, River Oak Charter School
African Box Drum, Tree of Life Elementary School
Cigar Box Guitar Project, Ukiah High School
Ceramic Geometry Bowls, Frank Zeek & Anderson Valley Elementary Schools

Using a variety of projects and artistic mediums geared toward specific ages and grade levels, students have the opportunity to strengthen creative thought processes with critical thinking and visualization. Students benefit from connecting art understanding and appreciation to other subject areas and disciplines.

Viviana Field
Web of Life, Round Valley Elementary School, Pomolita Middle School

Students study local flora and fauna, choosing an animal to examine in further detail, learning about its habitat, diet, etc. Using air-drying clay, students then sculpt an image of their chosen critter, as well as design and construct its habitat model. Students are not only engaged in creative and fun visual art projects, but learn to understand and appreciate their communities, nature, and environmental stewardship.

Katie Gibbs
Jump, Crawl or Fly? Insects close-up, Oak Manor Elementary School

Using techniques including paper sculpting, origami, and paper mask-making, students study the grasshopper, ant, and dragonfly, and then turn 2D illustrations of these insects into 3D pieces of art. Students find fun and excitement in the projects while learning new aspects of very ordinary creatures. Students also gain artistic training, learning about color, symmetry/assymetry in organic shape and form, texture, and the transition from 2D to 3D

Karen Lewis
Wild Words: Poetry & More!, Manchester Elementary School

Bringing literature alive in the classroom, students experiment with poetic tools and forms including alliteration, hyperbole, simile, metaphor, rhythm, meter, rhyme, line break, stanza, and image. In addition, students select their favorite poem and turn it into a mixed-media collage, or “altered page”, using paint and ink, selecting text and images from various salvaged books, magazines, and recycled materials.

Trudy McCreanor, Mendocino Ballet
Bringing Stories to Life through Dance!, selected elementary schools throughout Mendocino County

Mendocino Ballet presents three 55-minute Ballet performances for County elementary schools. This specially designed program features 20-25 ballet dancers from the Mendocino Ballet Company, a short introduction of the history of Ballet with a classical or contemporary performance. Past performances have included story ballets such as “Sleeping Beauty,” “Alice in Wonderland,” “Peter and the Wolf,” and “The Little Mermaid.” This program seeks to foster the next generation of audiences who love and appreciate dance and music!

Cathleen Micheaels
Cross-age, Integrated Language & Visusal Arts Poetry Writing & Bookmaking Projects
Arts Across the Curriculum!, Anderson Valley Unified School District
Where the Wild Things Are-Poems in Praise of the Wild Animals All Around Us!, Arena Union Elementary School

Working across ages and grades, these projects bring together poetry writing and book art to engage students and their families through mentorship and self-expression that draws on personal and cultural histories. By focusing on celebrating objects and people in the world around us, the project curriculum is designed to strengthen language skills while bringing alive the joy of learning through the arts.

Blake More
Fashion Forward: Sustainable Style through Creative Re-Use, Pacific Community Charter School, South Valley High School, New Beginnings

Students imagine, rethink, create and explore a more holistic view of fashion, recognizing the former can be art as well as personal style. With prompting, examples, recycled materials, and instruction, students are guided in the development, practice and actualization of imaginative expression – exercising literary and visual art techniques such as fiction, non-fiction, collage, paint, fabric arts, stamping, dye-cutting, hand sewing, drawing, scissoring and embellishment.

Maire Pera
Drawing Techniques, Oak Manor Elementary School, Yokayo Elementary School, Calpella Elementary School, Brookside Elementary School

Drawing crosses all disciplines and is a language that can be used to explain or communicate ideas, feelings, emotions, or as a visual reference of objects in space. Through this program, students learn about composition, drawing techniques, and chiaroscuro (the use of strong contrasts between light and dark), in the style of Kim Nicolaides and Rembrandt Van Rijn. Every lesson begins with K.W.L. (What I Know, What I Want to Know, and What I Learned), and in addition to drawing techniques, students are given art history lessons and learn to discuss and critique one another’s work.

Janet Rayner
Integrating Art into the Core Subject, Accelerated Achievement Academy, Calpella Elementary School, Willits Elementary Charter School, Coastal Adult School

Using graphite, colored pencils, craft materials, acrylic paint, soft pastels or oil paints, students are trained in observation, measuring, template, and tool usage to create more realistic images. These works can be botanical, anatomical, geographical, geological or geometric; perspective drawings; illustrations for writings or illustrations of different cultures and peoples. Students are encouraged to observe the world around them more carefully and are then given the skills to help them translate their observations graphically.

Elizabeth Raybee
Potter Valley Mosaic Mural, Potter Valley Unified School District

Students design and create a mosaic tile mural, as well as select the site for the work to be mounted. Students learn collaboration and gain a sense of pride in helping their school district and community build a permanent piece of public art.

Chris Skyhawk
Storytelling and Mythic Imagination, Albion School, Redwood Elementary & Willits Kids Club

While playing the drum, Chris Skyhawk tells stories that are rooted in Native American, European American, and African culture to ignite a sense of mythic imagination using the ancient art form of storytelling. Students participate in the telling of the story, and are engaged in a discussion of the many facets and meanings that a good story can hold, and how interpretation can shift depending upon the reference point of one’s life experience.

David Smith
Music & Math: Music Starts with a Rhythm, GATE Program, Ukiah Unified School District

Starting with a familiar song, students discover its form and identify its math and science components. Students then create an original composition in class. Through the process, students discover a more complete and diverse understanding of what comprises music.

Mimi Stoll
Multi-disciplinary Arts Workshop & Performance, Redwood Elementary

Through a series of ‘yes’ exercises students choose a storyline of interest. Using use their own stories and ideas and personal experiences, they will then work together to create a performance. Students learn that artistic expression comes naturally, through personal expression and creative inspiration.

Laura Wiecek
Weaving & Origami Workshops, Willits Charter School & Willits High School

Students learn the 3-dimensional crafts of weaving and origami. The academic learning process is enhanced by providing students the opportunity to develop and use their fine motor skills in the classroom.

Program Spotlight

Get Arts in the Schools Program

The deadline to apply is November 1, 2023.

Artist in the Spotlight

Event Spotlight

Opus Chamber Music Series: Robert Howard and Friends

Preston Hall, Mendocino
October 15 at 3pm