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Saturday, January 12, 2019

Middle schools get artists-in-residence

Chitra Sharma
Students at three middle schools in the Annandale/Mason District area will have a chance to work with professional artists as part of ArtsFairfax’s Artist in Residency Program.

Chitra Sharma, a screen printer, visual artist, and designer, will work with Glasgow Middle School art students on “The Glasgow Print Society” Feb. 11-28.

Sharma will integrate social studies, language arts, poster design, and printmaking. Posters created by students illustrating their ideas about the community and environment will be displayed at the school.


Heidi Fortune Picker, the teaching artist at Ford’s Theatre in D.C. and director of constituent engagement with 1st Stage Theatre in Tysons, is at Holmes Middle School Jan. 7-18, where she is engaging students in an “Exploring Movement in Improvisation” project.

Students in language arts classes have opportunities to practice effective communication and active listening skills by creating original, imaginative stories through improvisation. The residency will culminate with an in-class showcase of improv performances by and for students.

Suzy Scollon, an artist, educator, and coach for primary classroom teachers at the Wolf Trap Institute for Early Childhood Learning through the Arts, will work with Frost Middle School students in the spring in the “Creating Connections in Clay” project.

She will integrate creative writing and promote empathy among peers and the global community, offering students the opportunity to use ceramic projects for storytelling.

“The teaching artists’ ability to integrate their professional skills into the FCPS curriculum teaches students communication skills, critical thinking, collaboration, and creativity while developing confidence and building common experiences shared through art,” says ArtsFairfax President Linda Sullivan.

ArtsFairfax, a nonprofit organization, is Fairfax County’s local arts agency, and is funded by the county, corporations, foundations, individuals, the Virginia Commission for the Arts, and the National Endowment for the Arts.

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