Story Tapestries Inc.

Mission: Exposing the community, nationally and internationally to the concept of arts integration as a multi-faceted arts approach that seeks to affect all aspects of our life on a daily basis. Arts Integration as taught by Story Tapestries serves to develop the total person, social-emotional, intellectual and physical. Utilizing an arts integrated approach specifically tailored to the needs of each community, Story Tapestries teaches and demonstrates through performances and workshops the tools necessary for integrating the arts. * We will utilize and build upon a world-class network of artists, educators, and community members dedicated towards advocating and implementing the concept o...
Aug 6, 2014

Creating Gold

student work
student work

BECAUSE today my beautiful students created GOLD I tell you. I watched young men and women (who are not considered by the system to be strong students) shine.  Ms Pallavi Rana and I watched them with tears in our eyes show their beautiful drawings and visual art with pride.  I saw their other teachers look at the art- a mixture of collage, drawing, painting, and writing with pride.  It was a great day to be a teaching artist.

 

This summer Story Tapestries had an opportunity to work with the same set of students for 20 days.....THIS is a rarity in our work.  We often come in, teach and perform for short periods of time.  OR we get to share the tools of the arts with educators through professional development workshops.  BUT this July 2014, we had our own classroom full of eager 4th and 5th graders ready to learn.  Our focus was not performing, but creating visual art.  We used pencils, sequins, markers, collage paper, colored pencils, watercolors, pastels, and yarn.  The students drew pictures, created designs, wrote poetry, and shared their story through art.  

 

MOST importantly:  They shared themselves. At first, we heard this time and time again....Am I doing it right?  Can I do this?  Are we allowed to use ……. on our art??  Our answer:  Do you think you are doing it right?  Do you think that would balance out your picture, your words?  OUR goal was to EMPOWER them to make decisions, to show them that they CAN do it.  Our job was to guide them.  We saw many of our students grow into powerful young adults who believe in themselves, who believe that they have the ability to make the right decision for them, who believe that they are capable, intelligent humans.  All I have to say now is.... these 60 youth know what they want, know what they believe and have the skills to make it happen.

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Jun 9, 2014

Gaithersburg Book Festival: Imagination at Play

It’s 5:15 pm and it’s almost time to leave the Book Festival for the day.  All around it had been an incredible day, starting with the first group of people from the Nationalization Ceremony stopping by to take books and make a small donation to Story Tapestries.  To the children who dragged their parents over to create art using crayons, makers and sparkles.  To the adults who willingly sat down to create art with their child. To the people who simply asked “What is Story Tapestries? Why are you part of the book festival?”  All day long I explained that Story Tapestries believes in the power of the arts to change community, to teach young and old, and to empower the next set of young leaders to step up to the challenge of leading. Writing is an incredible form of creative expression of ideas, beliefs and history. Writers are artists and Readers are those who love to escape, to imagine and to live in the worlds the authors create.

Once again, it’s 5:15 pm and I was thinking about packing up.  Yet, a face popped up around the corner, a child’s toothy smile, “Can I make something?”  My tired mind said “Noooooo!!!!”  My heart said “Of course.”  My heart won and I sat down with the two children who were ready to create.  The mom and the grandma settled into chairs and began to talk.  They loved the art supplies and the simplistic nature of the project.  Thirty minutes later the girls were still going strong. They were uninterested in leaving. Honestly, it no longer mattered that the day was done and everyone around me was packing up. What was important was their smiles, their desire to create, and their focus on the work at hand. They stayed until 6 pm when their adults dragged them away with a promise to make time to do art at home. The mom had told me that she did not like too much mess and therefore rarely let the kids create on their own. However, she was so impressed with her children’s focus and imagination that she was making plans to visit a store immediately and purchase art supplies.

So often we at Story Tapestries go into a classroom and the teacher explains to us that the biggest problem they have with the students is concentration and imagination. I have heard more times than I can count: “My students have no imagination!!” At the Book Festival this was not an issue, imagination was everywhere, in the people attending the festival, the vendors, and the authors.  The day was full of people inspiring young authors like the two girls in my booth at 5:15 pm. The day was jam-packed with storytellers and musicians at the Imagination Station  all using story to expand the minds of families. We at Story Tapestries look forward to next year’s “Inspiring More Authors to Discover the Power of the Written Word!”

Help these stories continue to be told by joining us for Bonus Day! The next YouthSpark Bonus Day is just around the corner on June 25th! Microsoft will be matching all donations at 100% and there is $200,000 in matching funds!

                                        Thank you for your support!

Jun 9, 2014

The Laws of Motion in Action!

“Thank you for working so closely with our teachers, being so creative, and inspiring our children to think above and beyond.” Shelly Cefalu, PTA representative at North Forest Pines Elementary School

The Request: Can you create a residency that engages the students while simultaneously educates the students about the Laws of Motion?

The Answer: No problem. We will use a combination of the elements of Dance, Drama, and Storytelling to teach the students the three basic Laws of Motion. You will be able to assess their understanding of their knowledge of the subject throughout the process by the questions you ask them and the answers they are readily able to give. They will complete the FIVE day residency by creating a live human machine that moves and talks. They will demonstrate how they machine is affected by changes in mass and force through changes in their movement. The students will each write and perform a short monologue from the machine’s point of view. You will notice that all students at all levels will be able to participate. I can guarantee you that not one child will feel left out and all learning styles will be reached. We will use visual, audio, kinesthetic and tactile methods for learning.

The Result: A fantastic STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math) residency where learning, collaboration and fun was had by all. One hundred and twenty-five students were taught the three Laws of Motion. One hundred and twenty-five students students choreographed and performed a piece of movement. One hundred and twenty-five students wrote and presented a short monologue using descriptive language. Five teachers and hundreds of parents were THRILLED.

Student Response: THIS is incredible. Can we do this every year? I did not know that science could be easy. Did we really build a live machine? I would go to school every day with a smile on my face if we always had workshops like this.

My Response: I love teaching students using arts integration. It is such a pleasure to watch as the light bulb of learning turns on and they become excited about what’s next.

THE QUESTION: How can we ensure that every school has an arts integrated STEAM program?

THE ANSWER: We at Story Tapestries are working towards the goal of having a STEAM program in schools across the country. We apply for grants, make connections, raise money and partner with administrators to bring these programs to their community.

Help these stories continue to be told by joining us for Bonus Day! YouthSpark Bonus Day is just around the corner on June 25th! Microsoft will be matching all donations at 100% and there is $200,000 in matching funds!

                                      Thank you for your support!

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