SchoolArts Magazine

JAN 2019

SchoolArts is a national art education magazine committed to promoting excellence, advocacy, and professional support for educators in the visual arts since 1901.

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F O C U S I N PAGE SPONSORED BY: F or many years, Hilton Head Island High School students have participated in the Memory Proj - ect, a global art initiative founded in 2004 by Wisconsin college student Ben Schumaker. The Memory Proj - ect's goal is for art students across the nation to create portraits for children who have been orphaned, providing them with a special memory of their youth. Students have created por - traits for children in many countries, including Haiti, Honduras, Ghana, Syria, Afghanistan, and the Tibetan Children's Village in India. The heart of this project is powerful. It combines goodwill and artistic skill and uses art as a means to make a positive differ - ence in the life of another. With a little planning, you can facilitate a collaborative effort with area schools and community members to create a meaningful and memorable learning experience on a larger scale, beyond your own classroom. Because of Ben's multitude of global contacts, it is possible to tailor your learning expe - rience to a specific part of the globe. Inspired by a Documentary The first time we collaborated with area public and private schools, He Named Me Malala, a documentary of Malala Yousafzai's life growing up as a young girl in Pakistan, had just been released in theaters. Taking advantage of this opportunity, we applied for a The Memor Project grant from our PTSO and local Arts Council. The funds from this grant allowed students to view the documen - tary prior to creating the portraits. Viewing this film enhanced student knowledge of cultural background and tied the project into current events, creating a deeper knowledge base for students. Schumaker connected our classes to an all-girls school in Afghan - istan, and students from area schools viewed the film together in a local theater and began creating the portraits with a better understanding of who they were drawing and of what life is like for young girls growing up in the Middle East. Cross-Curricular Collaboration You can extend this project within your school by formulating cross- curricular projects with teachers from other subject areas. In our case, English AP Lit students joined arts students at the theater, and their sum- mative projects consisted of written essays and found poems that were dis- played along with the portraits from area schools in our community before being sent to Afghanistan. Schumaker also created a fundrais- ing page for those interested in donat- ing to the all-girls school to help move them to a safer location. At the time, they were trying to move because of threats from extremists in Kabul, where the Afghan Child Education and Care Organization–supported school was based. This extended an opportunity for community members to contribute. The Memory Project is full of oppor - tunities to create meaningful learning experiences. An art initiative steeped in goodwill creates bridges of human - ity. Our community-wide effort was a success, and we have since remained unified in our efforts to support the mission of the Memory Project. Monique Dobbelaere is an art teacher at Hilton Head Island High School in Hilton Head, South Carolina. Monique.dob- belaere @ W E B L I N K S An art initiative steeped in goodwill creates bridges of humanit . Monique Dobbelaere Memory Project portraits from students Allison Hughes (left) and Carol Ann Rosenblum (right). 38 DECEMBER 2018 SchoolArts

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