Robot Rumpus with Elicia Gray

Get Ready for the Robot Rumpus!

Elicia Gray’s Students at
Lakeview Elementary in
Provo City School District
Create Robots!

Elicia is happy to be able to talk about her diverse group of students at Lakeview Elementary School. Each week she has the unique opportunity to interact closely with more than 800 students, each with different skills and attributes. At the school she has students from all over the globe, many of them speaking English as a second language. In addition, a great number of students come from economically deprived families and do not normally have access to a diverse array of art supplies.

Elicia says, “As an art specialist, it is my pleasure to help students cultivate imaginative skills that can be applied to every other aspect of their lives. It is a pleasure to spend time with them and watch as their creative minds devour information and generate new ideas. I love being a part of a classroom where students are given opportunities to explore and discover new things.”

The Robot Project
For this project, the students were invited to design and create robots that would be useful in society today. Students were asked to identify problems that they encountered on a daily basis as well as problems in the larger world around them. After pinpointing these difficulties, students created possible solutions to those problems and designed robots that were forged to meet specific needs. Students were  invited to think creatively as they explored different possibilities and focused on resolving some of society’s greatest grievances, both simple and complex.

Henri Kaiser stated,
"Problems are only opportunities in work clothes.” During this project, students are encouraged to view problems as opportunities for growth and learning.

When a student encounters a difficult obstacle, it is important for them to understand that the process of tackling that issue can take considerable time and effort. This project will help them to understand this concept in a number of ways. They will each choose a real problem to address, and then they will explore a variety of new media and techniques as they design and create a robot to meet a certain need.

During this creative process, students were introduced to a variety of new media. They learned some simple printmaking techniques that would integrate contemporary ideas into their robots. They used rubbing plates, Crayons, and watercolors to blend colors and understand color theory. They learned the difference between actual and implied texture as they created three-dimensional additions to their robots. They experimented in paper marbling, collage, and other mixed media techniques. Students learned to identify and solve problems as they formulated and implemented their ideas. This process of brainstorming, exploration, and creation is truly remarkable, and it is exciting to watch it happen!

Thanks to all of the donations on for making this project happen!
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Timpanogos Storytelling Conference and Festival: A Featured Article by Teresa Love

Don't you LOVE it when you find a hidden gem? And don't you wonder, "why didn't I KNOW about this?" I'm here to tell you that the annual Timpanogos Storytelling Conference and Festival in Orem, Utah are brilliant hidden gems for elementary school classroom teachers and arts specialists.
In case you don't know, oral storytelling is enjoying a worldwide renaissance. Tellers from all ages tell old tales, new tales, hilarious narratives, personal stories, tall tales, healing stories, and more to enthusiastic listeners. Perhaps the oldest art form, and the basis of drama, theater, literature and film, storytelling connects deeply with children and adults. The Timpanogos Storytelling Institute, based in Orem, Utah will present world-class professional performers and instructors of storytelling the first week of September 2015.

You can find all the details at The website is extensive and sometimes you can get diverted by all the great information.

Here's a quick rundown:

Wednesday Sept. 2 - Thursday Sept. 3: The Conference
Held at the Orem Public Library, Orem, Utah. Keynotes, performances, and classes run all day. Classes are presented by many of the same world-class tellers who'll be at the Festival later in the week, as well as other experts. There are classes for beginning tellers to advanced tellers, and, from my experience, all the presenters love classroom teachers! You can learn to tell and learn how to teach storytelling.
Classroom teachers should note the irrepressible Bill Harley ("Charting the Emotional Lives of Children") and game master Anthony Burcher ("Recreation Re-Creation: Using Games to Discover Forgotten Personal Stories"). Storytellers and authors Donald Davis and Carmen Deedy are enlightening and entertaining keynotes, and I wouldn't miss either one of them. Teachers, you need to go look at the schedule of events to see all the richness regarding writing skills, voice, character, culture, etc. you can bring back to your classroom. All the presenters have been carefully vetted. I've seen most of them and they are well worth your time.
BONUS: If you buy a full Conference ticket you can attend "Look Who's Talking" on Thursday evening, Sept. 3, which is a wonderful performance cavalcade of all the tellers presenting at the Festival.

Thursday Sept. 3 (evening), Friday Sept. 5 (day to evening): The Festival
World class professional storytellers converge in our own Provo Canyon delighting audiences old and young. It is truly a festival atmosphere with large jovial crowds under huge sparkling white tents listening to tellers and musicians. Food vendors, puppeteers, jugglers, potters, a large gift shop with lots of material for teachers and a wide assortment of puppets complete the atmosphere in the gorgeous canyon.
If you have never seen a professional storyteller, your best bang for your buck at the festival is one of the evening performances, Thursday to Saturday, either at the canyon stages, or at the SCERA Shell in Orem.

DON'T be afraid to take your children or significant others. There will be plenty of laughs and activities for audiences of all tastes.
DO take the advice on the timpfest website regarding tickets, parking, weather, etc. This is a very well run event but you need to heed the information on the website for a fully enjoyable experience.

AND: BYU offers credit for attending these events. See the website for more information.

FREE! FREE! FREE!: Still not convinced? Go see something for free!

August 31, West Jordan, Utah: Storytelling Concert with professional tellers Antonio Sacre and Tim Lowry!  
For details visit

September 2, Riverwoods in Provo, Utah: Storytelling Concert with professional storytellers/musicians, GRAMMY Award Winner Bill Harley and Sam Payne
Sam is also host of BYU Radio's storytelling program, The Apple Seed.  

There's more!
Convinced and want to storyteller to come to your school, or take your class to the festival, possibly FOR FREE??????
Want to get your students/school involved in the National Youth Storytelling organization?
Go to and find out how you can participate. Look all over this page. You even find storytelling lesson plans (by yours truly).

Hey! If you see me, be sure to say hello! I'll be there for everything!

Teresa Love is a professional development partner for the Beverley Taylor Sorenson Arts Learning Program and an adjunct professor for BYU's Department of Theatre and Media Arts.
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All that Jazz: A Featured Article by Rachel L. Wadham

Biographies are a great starting place to learn how to integrate social studies and art. Last year we had a great splash of outstanding biographies about jazz musicians hit the market. The early history of jazz music is sure to spark discussions about racial and gender issues in this country. Relating these topics to discussions about point of view or individuals and cultures engages students in exciting ways. Using media to show video and sound clips is another great way to connect. So jump in and enjoy! 

Shown Above:  Bird and Diz by Gary Golio and Ed Young (9780763666606). 
Blasts of color and texture in the chalk illustrations show how sax player Charlie "Bird" Parker and trumpeter John "Dizzy" Gillespie made music together.  

The Cosmo-Biography of Sun-Ra: The Sound of Joy is Enlightening by Christopher Raschka (9780763658069).
Explore the life and work of jazz musician Herman "Sonny" Blount, known as Sun Ra, through brightly colored modern illustrations.

Little Melba and Her Big Trombone by Katheryn Russell-Brown and illustrated by Frank Morrison (9781600608988).
This book introduces Melba Doretta Liston, a virtuoso musician who played the trombone and composed and arranged music for many of the great jazz musicians of the twentieth century.

Swing Sisters: The Story of the International Sweethearts of Rhythm by Karen Deans and illustrated by Joe Cepeda (9780823419708).
Acrylic and oil illustrations capture the energy of the music made by the all-girls band. It was formed by Dr. Laurence Clifton Jones who operated an orphanage named Piney Woods Country Life School.  

Benny Goodman & Teddy Wilson: Taking the Stage as the First Black and White Jazz Band in History by Lesa Cline-Ransome and illustrated by James Ransome (9780823423620).
Cool blues and hot yellows capture the power of the first widely seen integrated jazz performance with Benny Goodman and Teddy Wilson in 1936.  

If you can't get your hands on these current biographies, here are some great jazz biographies from years past: 

Charlie Parker Played the Bop by Chris Raschka (9780531085998). 

Duke Ellington: The Piano Prince and His Orchestra by Andrea Davis Pinkney and illustrated by Brian Pinkney (9780786801787). 

Ella Fitzgerald: The Tale of a Vocal Virtuosa by Andrea Davis Pinkney with Scat Cat Monroe and illustrated by Brian Pinkney (9780786805686).  

Jazz by Walter Dean Myers and illustrated by Christopher Myers (9780823415458). 

Play, Louis, Play!: The True Story of  a Boy and His Horn by Muriel Harris Weinstein and illustrated by Frank Morrison (978159990370). 

Rachel L. Wadham is the department chair of social sciences and education, and juvenile literature librarian of the Brigham Young University Harold B. Lee Library.  
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Pressure to Power: Arts Express 2015

With another successful two days of inspiring presenters, the importance of the arts has been reinforced in the minds of all those who attended the annual Arts Express Conference. This year's conference was titled "Converting Pressure to Power with STEAM." Focusing on arts integration with the Utah Core Standards in Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math, each session featured authentic ways of bringing the arts into the classroom and reinforcing student learning in creative and new ways.

Keynote speaker Susan Antonelli, author of the Wonder Teacher blog, helped participants learn about the importance of using science journals to engage students in creative inquiry, thinking, and exploring. Science instruction can then be elevated to a place where creative inquiry is respected and encouraged.

Marcus Shelby, professional artist and performer, combined United States history and blues music in a skillful performance showcasing the natural relationship that the arts have with the core academic subject areas.

Using Pringles cans, yoga balls, drum-sticks, paint, and even bananas, participants discovered creative ways to help express themselves through their own artistic abilities in the various breakout sessions they attended.

Here are a few photos and comments on the breakout sessions:

Participants in Tara Carpenter and
Jayme Gandara's session
"Teaching Visual Arts"
 Listening to Jana Shumway's
session"Full STEAM Ahead to
Connect Math and Dance"

Creating robots in Steve Shumway's session "Artistic Robots" 
"I am amazed. Great hands-on learning. I am going to have my students do this as part of my science unit."  
           —Rachael Greenwood on Steve Shumway's session "Artistic Robots"

Learning new ways to teach music in Jane Nelson's session "10-Minute Music Energizers" 
"I loved this.  I teach K-6 so I got many ideas to use when I only have a few minutes."  
             - Gayle Bleak on Jane Nelson's Session "10-Minute Music Energizers"  

Getting participants to move in Angela Challis and Paul Nance's session "Science That Moves You"

"The BEST class!  The science lessons were applicable to me and the dancing was fun and engaging.  We were given lesson plans and music as well.  I will definitely use this in 2nd grade." 
- Christy Nielson on Paul Nance and Angela Challis' Session "Science That Moves You"

Final Arts Celebration

"The drumming performance inspired me to find creative ways for my kids to interpret music and poetry. So great!"
        —Alyssa Larsen on Arts Celebration of Drums Alive

"We have to integrate the arts into our classroom because this could be one of our kids' true passions."  
         —Wendy Cope, Alpine School District

Witness the magic in action and find photos of you and your friends from Arts Express 2015: Converting Pressure to Power with Steamclick here.

Presenters and participants from the conference reflect on the value of the arts in education.

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BTS Specialists Visit New Orleans for National Art Education Association Conference: An Article by Molly Neves

An important part of the BYU ARTS Partnership is training teachers as they continue to learn and develop professionally.

A few of our Beverley Taylor Sorenson visual art specialists had a wonderful opportunity to attend the 2015 National Art Education Association National Convention in New Orleans, Louisiana.

Thousands of visual art educators attend this nationwide conference every year and the experience to connect with other educators and attend a variety of sessions and workshops is invaluable.

In addition to experiencing the beautiful French Quarter, world famous beignets, and delicious Cajun and Creole food, our specialists were able to listen to keynote speaker and art advocate Tim Gunn, as well as choose from a large selection of sessions to attend during the three-day conference. Each specialist will bring the skills and knowledge they acquired back to their respective schools to share with their staff.

One of the most exciting parts of attending a national workshop dealing with arts integration is the realization that some of the most innovative and creative methods used in arts integration today we are already using. We are currently working on research projects to record and share some of the best practices in our state to benefit the field of arts integration as a whole. Our specialists and classroom teachers are collaborating in phenomenal ways and it is exciting to be on the front lines of arts integration practices.  

Thank you BYU for providing this wonderful opportunity to our specialists! 

Molly Neves is an artist and elementary art education specialist. She is a member of the Utah Art Education Association, as well as the National Art Education Association.  
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Grants You May Qualify For - Spring and Summer Deadlines

We wanted to keep you aware of grants you may qualify for to help fund your classroom endeavors with the arts. We want to specially note the Creative Leadership Grant through Crayola that is coming up quickly!  

Creative Leadership Grants

Source: Crayola

Deadline: Early Bird, June 8, 2015; regular, June 22, 2015

Amount: $2,500 + $1,000 in Crayola products

Description: For schools who take creative ideas to the level of establishing a creative leadership.
All early bird applications sent in before midnight June 8, 2015 will receive a Crayola classpack of Construction Paper Crayons.

Details & Application:

*Note:  Principals do not have to be members of NAESP to submit an application, however, if the grant application is accepted, will need to become a member.

Arts Education Artist-in-Residence Grants

Source: Utah Division of Arts & Museums

Deadline: March

Amount: $700 to $3,500

Description: Provides “schools and nonprofit organizations with an artist for a 40-hour residency.”

Details & Application:

Arts Education Project Grants

Source: Utah Division of Arts & Museums

Deadline: March

Amount: $1,000 to 10,000

Description: "Provide for a comprehensive arts education project utilizing the services of artists of artistic companies.”

Details & Application:

Arts Education Teacher-Initiated Project Grants

Source: Utah Division of Arts & Museums

Deadline: March

Amount: $500

Description: "Provide opportunities for teachers to gain skills and knowledge in an artistic discipline of their choice.”

Details & Application:

Arts, Culture, and Design in School Grants

Source: Target

Deadline: Applications accepted March 1 to April 30 each year

Amount: $2,000

Description: "Target funds in-school arts programs that enhance students' classroom curricula by bringing the arts and cultural experiences to schools, such as in-school performances, artist-in-residency programs and workshops in schools. Programs must take place between September 2014 and August 2015."

Details & Application:

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Authentic Experiences with the Visual Arts: An Interview with Tara Carpenter

Tara Carpenter, professor in BYU's Department of Art Education, shares her ideas on how to help future teachers integrate visual arts into their classrooms.

Carpenter has taught at BYU for the past three years. She teaches art for elementary teachers (VAEDU 326). The class is designed to help pre-service teachers understand visual arts and develop their own skills. Her teaching style focuses on providing authentic experiences to teachers. She believes that if teachers have real experiences with art they will feel more motivated to teach it. This year she has done just that!

Carpenter helped develop and pilot a new program that instructs elementary education majors how to teach visual arts to children: JUMP ST(ART). JUMPST(ART) is offered as an 8-week after-school class in the Fall and Winter semesters where each session is 50 minutes long.  In the summer, it is offered as a one-week camp for K-6 students where each session is two hours long.  For the children, it is an incredible out-of-school experience with creative projects that increase their artistic skills. For Tara's students, it is an opportunity to experience what teaching art in a real classroom feels like. These elementary education majors benefit from authentic experiences of creatively writing lesson plans that integrate core standards, while also adjusting for age-appropriateness, managing students (and sometimes messy projects), and enabling their students to have increased interest in the arts because of powerful art instruction.

Last summer Carpenter spent the first week and a half of the month-long term with her class going over such topics as the development of art with children and writing lesson plans. With only five pre-service teachers in the class, they were each required to create a number of lesson plans that could be used for the upcoming art camp. As a class, students collaborated in testing the lessons with one another and planning for over fifty elementary school students, all in different grade levels and with various artistic skills.

After the experience, Professor Carpenter's students felt empowered and assured in their abilities to teach visual arts in the future. "I feel confident now that I realize art doesn't have to be a cookie cutter, one-way thing," said Lauren Snow, one of Carpenter's students. Snow and the other students felt more likely to integrate art in their teaching because of JUMP ST(ART).

To learn more about this fabulous new program, whether you are an elementary education major, current teacher, or a parent looking for art experiences for your children, please visit the program website. Carpenter also coordinates programming for secondary (ages 13-18) and continuing education students of all ages.  Registration for summer K-12 camps is open now. Check it out at:

These pictures speak for themselves to show how successful this JUMP ST(ART) endeavor is:

Photos used with permission, courtesy of JUMP ST(ART). 
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Beverley Taylor Sorenson Painting Gala Event

If you have been in the David O. McKay Building on BYU campus recently, you have probably seen this new painting in the middle stairwell.

Painting by Robert Barrett, on display in the David O. McKay Building
To the casual observer, this 5-foot by 10-foot painting depicts children at play painting, dancing, and playing instruments. However, there is a deeper message and history behind the beautiful image.

The mural is to honor the contributions of Beverley Taylor Sorenson and her family. Their philanthropic efforts have created a legacy of increased arts education throughout Utah. Proceeds from a BYU endowment help fund programs in the BYU ARTS Partnership, comprised of the McKay School of Education and the College of Fine Arts and Communications. These programs increase Utah elementary school students' experiences with art and provide quality instruction for teachers and teacher candidates.

Some of the founding members of the BYU ARTS Partnership.
Back: Rory Scanlon, Stephen Jones, Cecil Samuelson, Richard Young
Front: Deb Escalante, Cally Flox, Beverley Sorenson, Lisa Cluff, Sarah Lee Gibb
Beverley often said, “That’s what little children do. They sing, they dance, they play, they create.” She envisioned teachers creating a learning environment that would nurture a child's creativity and build his or her confidence. She saw providing an education rich in the arts as a way to realize her dream because—as she said—it tapped into what children already did naturally. 

The arts not only help strengthen learning in other subject areas, they also help reach students who might be struggling in school or with social confidence. Beverley believed that making each child feel unique and valued was paramount in education.

Beverley with students                 
Children perform the Maypole dance with Beverley
As a six-year-old, Beverley was chosen to be the May Day queen at her school’s May Day celebration. It was the first moment she could remember feeling individually important. She recalled, “It made me feel so unique and special to shine in something, and that made a difference in my life. So I have seen the need of understanding an individual child.”

The McKay School selected BYU professor of illustration Robert Barrett to create the painting after Barrett proposed the Maypole theme to celebrate Beverley’s childhood experience.
Painting by Robert Barrett
An open house gala was held on April 2 to celebrate the installation of the painting. Deans from both the McKay School of Education and the College of Fine Arts and Communications were in attendance, along with faculty, family, and friends.
Dean Mary Anne Prater (MSE), Dean Stephen Jones (CFAC), artist Robert Barrett,
Associate Dean Randy Boothe (CFAC)

The painting is now a permanent fixture in the McKay School of Education where it serves as a reminder of Sorenson's wish that every child feel unique and valued, and that learning be joyful.

Open house gala April 2, 2015

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