Creative Outreach Reinventing Expression
C O N T R I B U T E
Why the Arts? Why CORE?
Kids and art go hand in hand – they love to create and aren’t afraid to try something new. Ready-made art kits and coloring books teach kids how to follow directions in order to produce someone else’s art. This isn’t a bad thing; it allows them to make something, but it doesn’t allow them to grow creatively – to access that part of the brain that develops critical and higher order thinking. We want kids to choose their own colors and designs, and use their own voices of self-expression. So how do we encourage them to flex those creative muscles?
At CORE, we give kids opportunity to try new things and use their natural creative abilities to turn a blank page into a masterpiece! At CORE, students think for themselves. They are given the beginnings of a themed project and are allowed the freedom to make it their own. Our teaching artists allow students to brainstorm, experiment, ponder, and choose materials, as they guide young artists to make their ideas come to life. At the end of class, students are invited to discuss their art with the rest of the group. It warms our hearts and brings us joy to hear even our youngest students speak to their peers about their process of creating art.
A reflection from one of our teaching artists:“…Students were learning about cave art and made cave art drawings with images of things that were important to them and told their story…we learned how cave drawings were the way of communicating before the alphabet. So the students decided to create a legend of meanings for their images. They wanted people 40,000 years from now to know what their drawings meant! There was so much excitement and discussion…it was very disappointing when it was time to go.”
Our performing arts courses help students be team players and quick thinkers. Much focus is given to encourage teamwork. Performing artists, stage crew, tech crew, and production assistants are part of a tribe. They are taught to support one another, as well as to honor each person’s contributions to the group. Students work collaboratively as part of a team. They learn to be “one”. In the theater, one performer’s forgotten line is saved by another performer’s ad lib. One actor’s ripped costume seam is saved by a stage crew member’s roll of duct tape. The performance doesn’t stop for obstacles. The show must go on! Our actors live the lives of their characters, exploring emotions that may be alien to them, resulting in a unique learning experience as the actor brings the character to life, and learns some empathy for that character’s struggles. The crew learns that their efforts to shine light, keep props clean and in place, control microphone volume, and organize ticket sales are important roles in a production. Actors are not the only stars of a performance!
One student in Melville Elementary School said, “this is the best class ever, I have always wanted to take an acting class! I’m learning about acting and I’m learning about me!” Some parents have told us, “My daughter has so much more self-confidence”, “My son looks forward to this class every year because he says it feeds his imagination” and another said “It is so nice there is such a quality program in the performing arts for families who are not so involved in sports!”
Our Who Am I Anyway program was created to give our middle school students the tools to face the social/emotional issues present during the middle years, such as bullying, drug/alcohol abuse, identity, and fitting in. The program is a collaboration between CORE and the Tiverton School Department. CORE artists work with school psychologists and the guidance department in sessions designed to explore feelings, healthy solutions to problems, and form bonds based on trust. This six-week program, with financial support from the Tiverton Prevention Coalition, consists of discussions incorporating visual art, yoga, writing, and theatre to explore the anxieties middle school children face. The program concluded with a powerful student-authored theatrical production which incorporated the themes of “Who am I?” and “How do I fit in?”, and was open to the public.
How has this program helped students? Here’s what some parents had to say, “I saw a side of my daughter I have never seen before. She became more aware of her emotions, she was able to explore more acting, and she learned more qualities about herself.”
“My son experienced some extreme bullying and I was not sure he would want to be in a program that talked openly about bullying and look at ways to deal with emotions. He was able to confront a lot of fear in a safe, supportive and creative environment, with the guidance of professionals. I highly recommend this program!!”
Why tell you all of this? Sometimes we see a beautiful piece of art and we don’t realize what happened to get it to that point. It isn’t always about creating something beautiful; sometimes it’s more about the process and what it taught us. We are about the process; the beauty is a bonus. I’m also telling you this because we can’t do what we do without support. Financial support helps us provide scholarships to children in need, and helps us purchase needed supplies for courses. This year it will help us begin a new year-round performing arts group at Tiverton Middle School, and a puppet theatre. It helps support our amazing Who Am I Anyway? Program, and helps us rent lighting and sound equipment, and provide musician stipends for performances.
Will you help support the process? We sincerely hope so…and we love talking about what we do so please feel free to reach out to us anytime, but make sure you have some time to talk because we have a lot to share!
A $60 donation can cover the cost of one course for a student in need
$100 can cover the cost of materials for one course.
Donations can be made to:
The CORE Organization
156 Highland Road
Tiverton, RI 02878
All donations are tax deductible; CORE is a 501(c)3 organization..