art Partners for New orleans
“The teaching staff and students of these public schools are delighted with excitement and gratitude for being able
to participate in such a wonderful activity that will bring a bit of color back into the schools and community.”
—Todd Shaffer, Teaching Artist, Young Audiences Louisiana
New Orleans’ cultural
heritage has come to
life in four city schools
through inspiring murals
created by a partnership between
Young Audiences (YA), Crayola, and
the National Art Education Association (NAEA). Young Audiences is a
national source of arts-in-education
programs and services, and NAEA
is the nation’s largest organization
for the visual arts. Crayola, maker of
traditional and innovative arts and
crafts materials, is well known to
parents and teachers.
The project was aimed at revitalizing arts education programs in New
Orleans public and charter schools,
including William J. Fischer, Mar-
tin Behrman, Harriet R. Tubman,
and Kate Middleton Elementary,
which were all damaged by Hurri-
cane Katrina nearly three years ago.
Through the partnership, students
from the Louisiana chapter of Young
Audiences demonstrated that the
rich culture and deep roots of New
Orleans is still alive and thriving.
With Crayola’s donation of art supplies to each school, and the programs
provided by Young Audiences, teachers at these four schools ensured that
their students experienced the benefits of art education.
Young Audiences Louisiana’s teaching artists, Todd Shaffer and Kyle
Bravo worked with students from
the four New Orleans public and
charter schools to make artistic tiles
using Model Magic air-dry modeling
compound to create a collaborative
mural. The complete mural was put
together using the tiles from the four
schools during the Crayola opening night event at the 2008 NAEA
Conference in New Orleans and was
officially unveiled the following day.
It was accompanied by narratives that
expressed what the students felt New
Orleans meant to them—the symbols, places, and people who have had
a positive impact on their lives.
After the mural was unveiled, it
went on tour to each of the four participating schools, allowing fellow
students and faculty to appreciate the
artistic creativity and hard work that
went into this collaborative project.
The murals were created as follows:
1. Students worked with teaching
artists at their schools to design the
artwork that would be painted on the
blank mural space.
2. Teaching artists helped students
paint the artwork with multiple colors.
3. The four painted murals were
transported to Crayola’s Opening
Night event for NAEA 2008, where
art educators from across the country
helped to make and attach Model
Magic mosaic tiles that matched the
4. The murals were shown at NAEA.
Amanda Sirianni works for Young Audiences, Inc. email@example.com
Go to schoolartsonline.com
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