SchoolArts Magazine

September 2017

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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Page 44 of 58

F O C U S I N PAGE SPONSORED BY: W e all know students who love art but may not excel academically. Many of them are in low-income middle schools with scant counsel- ing services and decreasing art bud- gets, and they may see few post-high school options. Without exposure to a variety of role models in creative careers encouraging them, many may be at risk of dropping out. Cool Jobs is an innovative new program that Fresh Artists (a Phil- adelphia-based nonprofit delivering art supplies and programs to schools in need) designed to toss these kids a lifeline. It addresses what we see as an urgent need by: • introducing 600 at-risk seventh- graders to highly successful people with real jobs in the creative econ- omy that they didn't know existed; • showing them accessible paths to these jobs; and • encouraging them to stay in school and choose the best-fit high schools and colleges for pursuing their path. W ho Changed Your Path? Cool Jobs focuses on the theme, "Some people cross your path and change your whole direction." Research shows that many people, upon looking back on their lives, recall a dynamic adult role model who noticed them as a child, named their gifts, and sometimes, in even the subtlest of ways, suggested a novel path that they never con - sidered. Children in low-income c ommunities may be less apt to encounter such mentors in the cre- ative community. The successful entrepreneur of tomorrow will have developed twenty-first century skills such as critical thinking, problem solving, creativity, and imagination—all Cool Jobs: Finding a Job to Love for Life Barbara Chandler Allen learned in a well-constructed art curriculum. The objective in Cool Jobs is to introduce kids to creative professionals who are exceptionally good at what they do and are eager to demonstrate their craft. During this process, students learn that these whiz-bang artists and designers didn't get there alone or all at once. Finding mentors and role models was critical to their success. Finding a Job to Love for Life Before, during, and after the Expo, we engage students in thinking about creativity as the fuel that can propel them toward the job of their dreams. We start the conversation: Who designed the skateboard you have your eye on? What's up with the artist who painted the mural around the corner? Why did that dog toy designer use those crazy colors when dogs are color-blind? A t Fresh Artists' 2017 Cool Jobs Expo, students met and talked with passionate presenters: a nation - ally syndicated cartoonist, prop f abricators for Saturday Night Live, a fine-art conservator from the world-famous Barnes Foundation, a mural artist, an architect, a lighting designer, a toy designer, a fashion designer from Urban Outfitters, a graphic designer, an executive pastry chef, a large-format digital printer, and an art therapist. Students pick up on the passion that these fascinating people exude for their life's work. For many young We engage students in thinking about creativit as the fuel that can propel them toward the job of their dreams. CONTINUED ON PAGE 49. Toys and pet products industrial designer Antonio Black speaks to visiting seventh-graders at the recent Cool Jobs Expo. 40 SEPTEMBER 2017 SchoolArts

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