Friday, May 8, 2015
a. My idea is to create a project that supports public schools by providing an arts based entrepreneurial model to raise funds for basic classroom supplies and improve the quality of public arts education. Philadelphia schools are struggling and only half of our schools have a full time art teacher. I seek to address the dearth in art education by combining the arts and science to teach environmental issues through the arts. Ecology based art lessons will be integrated with 5th grade science curricula to transform recyclable materials into new objects that can be either decorative, functional, or both. This addresses the statewide standard for 5th grade science: “S5.B.3.2.3: Explain how different items are recycled and reused”. The artworks and items are sold to raise money for school supplies. b. My Name is Linda Fernandez, I am an artist, educator and advocate for the arts and public education. I am a certified art teacher, have worked in the Philadelphia Public School District, as a teaching artist with several non-profits and as a professional visual artist. Along with four other professional artists, I have started an artist collective called Amber Art and Design, which seeks to create public works of art and put creative decision making into the hands of the communities that we work with. c. I am a longtime resident of South Philadelphia and this is also the neighborhood where this project will take place. South Philly is one of the most diverse neighborhoods in the city, with a high percentage of newly settled immigrants from a multitude of countries. d. The community needs this project because are city is in a financial crisis and our schools are suffering. Many young couples leave the city seeking suburban neighborhoods with quality public schools while parents who can afford to, stay in the city and send their children to private schools with tuitions similar to the University level. Public schools have experienced a lack of funding and resources for the past few years and many students in Philadelphia public schools do not have the ability to express themselves through the arts. On top of that, the school budgets are squeezed so tight, that many schools lack the funding for basic supplies. This project addresses the need for arts programming, and helps schools to raise funds so that teachers can purchase the supplies they need. This project can be integrated into the science curriculum to address ecology and the urban environment. It can also connect to history and culture through an artistic investigation of international crafts.