ArtCore is in a season of growth and expansion. As the federal grant period comes to a close, the project team continues to work on compiling the rich artifacts, interviews, video, and data gathered over the course of the project. Team members have begun outreach to teachers and schools to keep the arts integration flame alit at each site. Lane Arts Council is in the design stage of an arts integration program to serve the broader Lane County. The Inflexion team is waiting to hear about two grants to support continued research and development in addition to forming new partnerships and pathways for sustained innovation in Lane County and beyond.
Notably, some team members are bringing their skills and insights to new communities to spread creative engagement in arts integration. Michele Haney began work in the ArtCore project as an intern at EPIC/Inflexion to support documentation and research efforts. More than three years later, she has now embarked on her first full-time classroom teaching endeavor at North Albany Middle School in Oregon. When Michele began work in the project, she dove into anything that she encountered with patience, composure, and curiosity. Over the years, she has contributed enormously to the coordination of an ambitious longitudinal research project. She has co-authored several research studies that are either published or will be in press within the year. Michele’s leadership led to the refinement and publication of two dozen innovative and interdisciplinary arts integration modules.
Most importantly, though, Michele touched the lives of many students at Cascade Middle School. During three years of deep collaboration with teachers across content areas, students followed her guidance in the creative process, visiting her during lunch to sit, chat, imagine possibilities, and create. We know she will relish in both the challenges and inspirations she encounters as she builds a culture of creative engagement in her first arts classroom.
Katie Schuessler joined the ArtCore project for the past year, committing her creative energy and ideas to support teachers across grade levels and schoolwide efforts at Oaklea Middle School. At Oaklea, she cultivated thoughtful opportunities for members of the whole school community, bringing mindfulness to anything she did. Katie quickly became an asset to the whole project, supporting Lane Arts Council's vision for greater access to arts integration resources for Lane County schools. Katie smoothly dove deep into design and facilitation of professional development and research activities across the project and had a wonderful effect on all of us. Katie has moved back to New York City after accepting a visual arts teaching job at Brooklyn Excelsior. They will learn quickly how lucky they are to have her in their community. We wish her a wonderful immersion back into the classroom.
We will send more updates about the continued development of opportunities and resources in the ArtCore project.