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DC Collaborative E-News

  October 2010
Notes from the Executive Director
Early Learning and the Arts in Washington DC
Louise Kennelly

There is an increasing interest in bolstering early childhood learning both in Washington, DC, and across the nation and there is no other gradespan where the power of arts in education is more evident.

A growing body of research on the effects of early arts experiences shows their positive relationship to improved, overall academic performance. Research in the arts also demonstrates that when creativity is developed at an early age, its benefits are continual and are transferred to many intellectual tasks


The presumptive mayor-elect Vincent Gray has already started to articulate his plans for education reform with an emphasis on the expansion of early learning opportunities for

DC 's youngest students. As locally and nationally more attention and resources are placed on formal early learning opportunities, these efforts would be strengthened by the thoughtful inclusion of the arts.


As toddlers and pre-toddlers begin to formulate language, it is through song and movement, music and rhythm, colors and drama that they learn the building blocks not only associated with literacy and math but with the skills related to learning to learn. It is in the earliest grades where there is a seamless merging of learning in the arts disciplines as well as through the integration of the arts across the curriculum.


Arts in education are, of course, key to learning in every grade not just in Pre-Kindergarten. The arts are critical to engaging and retaining high school students and re-engaging those who have dropped out of school, for example. But as administrators and policymakers take a more comprehensive look at early learning, it would strengthen their initiatives to include community arts partners already doing incredible work in this arena.


The DC Collaborative coordinates access to numerous early learning events offered by members both in and out of school, that help accelerate literacy among DC's youngest students. Through storytelling, puppetry, dance and song, students are exposed to the engaging aspects of narrative so often a first step in learning to read.


The DC-based non-profit organization Fight for Children recently estimated that only half of DC three- and four-year-olds are enrolled in quality early childhood education programs. Many DC children are enrolled in unaccredited early learning programs and some are not enrolled at all. As the new mayoral administration develops its approach to strengthening early learning in DC and starts to define high-quality early learning for all students, an integral role for the city's abundant arts and humanities institutions and resources should be front and center.

Fall Members Meeting
DC Collaborative Fall Members Meeting

The DC Collaborative held its Fall membership meeting on September 30, 2010, at the Source Theatre, with nearly fifty members in attendance.

Highlights from Member presentations included the following:

ˇRaymond Caldwell of Arena Stage relayed highlights from their professional development workshops such as Props 4 Hip Hop and shared updates about their new theater, Mead Center for American Theater.

ˇJeanette McCune of the Kennedy Center outlined their extensive professional development offerings with a focus on building capacity for integrating arts across the curriculum.

ˇBruce Taylor of the Washington National Opera gave a compelling talk about the advancement of 21st Century Learning Skills made possible by arts education.

ˇCaitlin S. Griffin presented on the Folger Shakespeare Library's array of professional development offerings, including the very popular Shakespeare Set Free workshop which provides a performance-based approach to teaching Shakespeare.

ˇErich Keel of the Kreeger Museum shared an inspiring short film, Hear Art, See Music, featuring cross-disciplinary strategies and techniques for ensuring a meaningful and memorable arts experiences for students.

ˇPaul Ruther of the Phillips Collection was joined by Peabody Early Education Center teachers Gail Murdock and Katie Cushman recounting the ways the innovative Teach with O'Keefe program has invigorated their instructional approach
Our New Look!
 DCAHEC logo

The DC Collaborative is pleased to introduce a new branding campaign! Our new logo is inspired by the butterfly, which symbolizes a soaring vision in our community and for students to take flight through arts education!

Program Spotlights
Arts for Every Student

The DC Collaborative is now in full swing of AFES programming. We've reached our targeted program budget for the year! We had a lot of response from schools since the start of the year, and are so pleased with the level of participation from our partner schools. For October events alone, we served nearly 3,000 students and teachers!

Board Member Spotlight
Jeanette Spencer McCune
Jeanette Spencer McCune
Jeanette Spencer McCune

Jeanette has been  an outstanding board member of the DC Collaborative since 2006, and has served in a leadership capacity on committees supporting professional development and programming  since 1999.  She currently serves as the Secretary on our Board of Directors. Since 2001, Jeanette has managed the Kennedy Center's partnerships with 19 District of Columbia schools and community based education initiatives, including the Dance Theatre of Harlem Pre-Professional Residency.  Prior to her appointment at the Kennedy Center, Jeanette served as Director of Community and Education Programs for the Choral Arts Society of Washington and Marketing Manager for the American Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works.  We are grateful for her dedication to the DC Collaborative and the amazing work she has accomplished in the arts education field!
New Board Members Announced
DC Collaborative Announces New Board Members!

The DC Arts and Humanities Education Collaborative is pleased to announce the addition of four new members to the Board of Directors: David Ferrero, senior program officer at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation; Gina Sacripanti, senior director at the Washington Examiner; Michael Sikes, senior associate at the Arts Education Partnership; and Allen Weinstein, Ninth Archivist of the United States. The new board members serve three-year terms.

"We are privileged to have the guidance of these accomplished individuals," said Louise Kennelly, Executive Director of the DC Arts and Humanities Education Collaborative. "We are fortunate to have a wonderful tradition of a strong and supportive Board of Directors."

The DC Collaborative also added Michael Bobbitt to the Board of Directors Executive Committee as Vice President. He joins other members of the Executive Committee: Jeff Travers, President; Sarah Jencks, Vice President; Jeanette McCune, Secretary; and Geoffrey Fenner, Treasurer. In addition Carol Bogash was designated board member from Ex Officio board member. The newly elected board members join other DC Collaborative board members Anne Corbett (recent past-president); Chris Jennings; Jade Floyd, David Levine; Dorothy McSweeny; Chase Alan Moore; Gail Murdock; and David Snider.
Member Spotlight
Washington Bach Consort

The Washington Bach Consort is an example of one of the DC Collaborative's outstanding member organizations! The Washington Bach Consort fills Washington DC with a taste of classical music with their Noontime Cantate Concert Series. These free fifty-minute concerts are held on the first Tuesday of the month from October through December at the Church of the Epiphany in downtown, DC, near Metro Center. The Washington Bach Consort provides dynamic programs such as Bach in Time for the DC Collaborative's Arts for Every Student Program. We are grateful to have them as a member.
For more information, click here!
Member News

Young Playwrights' Theater Upcoming Event

The Young Playwrights' Theater is presenting an Express Tour Showcase on Friday, November 5 at 8:00 p.m. at GALA Hispanic Theater. The event also celebrates Young Playwright's Theater's 15th birthday, honoring the community partners, classroom teachers and arts educators who enrich the lives of DC students. Reception begins at 7 pm. RSVP Here!

Kids EuroFestival Artists Provide In-School Residencies

The DC Collaborative is partnering with Kids EuroFestival to place visiting artists in DC schools for extended interaction with students.

Some of the Kids EuroFestival artist teams, here to provide free performances around the city, have provided in-school residencies at Capital City Public Charter School and Arts and Technology Academy Public Charter School. The in-school residencies are a new feature of the Kid EuroFestival program this year.

Artists from Bulgaria provided a three-day residency for third grade students at the Arts and Technology Public Charter School. The residency was titled "Be Your Own Star" and focused on conceiving and creating costumes for characters from stories students were reading in the classroom. Artists from Finland provided a two-day residency for third grade students at Capital City Public Charter School. During the two days, the artists worked with the students to explore language and communication through singing, dancing, improvisation and drumming.

In addition to the residencies, two schools experienced hour-long workshops with artists from Austria, after attending the Austrian performance of "Twice Upon a Time" earlier in the day. Students from Oyster-Adams Elementary and Cleveland Elementary learned about the art of puppet-making with the Austrian artists.

Mimes, storytellers, dancers, and puppeteers are just a few of the exciting acts scheduled to appear during almost four weeks of wonderful artistic adventures across the city. Designed for children ages 2-12, the festival is the largest - and most diverse in the country, and is offered through the cooperation of 27 EU embassies and more than 25 major cultural institutions.

Donate Now!

Make the DC Collaborative a part of your giving plan this year!  Help us bring quality arts and humanities education to all DC public and chartered public schools. Your donation can provide tickets and transportation through the Arts for Every Student program, provide teacher registration fees for Professional Development workshops, or provide  for support for arts integrated work with schools as part of the Arts Education Initiative.

Job Opportunities
  • Washington Performing Arts Society is looking for a Director of Special Events. This position provides leadership and professional expertise in the planning, management and implementation of all WPAS special events. Send resume and cover letter to hr@wpas.org
  • The Children's Chorus of Washington seeks a new Executive Director to lead CCW's excellent children's choral performance and music education program. Send resume, cover letter, and salary history to jobs@childrenschorus.com
  • Ford's Theatre Society is looking for a Group Sales Associate The Group Sales associate assists with group sales from initial contact to final payment.  To apply, please send cover letter, resume, and salary requirements to tmcdonald@fords.org.
  • The Theatre Lab School of the Dramatic Arts seeks qualified applicants for the full-time position of Marketing and Events Manager. Send resume and cover letter to Deb Gottesman, Theatre Lab Director: deb@theatrelab.org.

About the DC Arts and Humanities Education Collaborative:
More than fifty members strong, the DC Arts and Humanities Education Collaborative (DC Collaborative) provides equitable access to quality arts and humanities education for all DC public and chartered public schools for the growth of the whole child. Working with its partners, since its founding in 1998, the DC Collaborative produces such exemplary programs as Arts for Every Student and the Arts Education Initiative.

For more information on the DC Arts and Humanities Education Collaborative, Please visit our website by
clicking here.

If you would like to include something in our next member e-news, please email us at info@dccollaborative.org
On behalf of the DC Collaborative we look forward to working with you and we hope you have a great fall!
DC Arts and Humanities Education Collaborative
1835 14th Street, NW
Washington, DC 20009
p. (202) 204-7750
f.  (202) 204-7803