June 28, 2023-- Intermediate East will welcome a professional muralist this year, who will lead a 23-day residency to instruct students and staff in the arts.
The unique opportunity is thanks to the Artist in Residency (AIE) grant and its 2023 Bridge to AIE program.
"This residency offers a unique resource and approach to learning for your
students by bringing a professional teaching artist into the classroom," wrote AIE Program Officer Samantha Clarke in a congratulatory letter to the school.
This marks the third district program to receive an AIE residency grant in the past several years; High School North's Dance Academy welcomed a modern dance artist to assist the program in 2021, and the school also welcomed a guest digital artist for a residency that spanned two academic years.
This time around, not only will Intermediate East have a professional on site to assist students and staff; they'll also be left with a lasting representation of the experience in the form of a mural.
"We have selected a wall, and look forward to the infusion of history through 'mathographics' with the children's vision of the future and where they would like to be as adults," said Principal Bryan Madigan. "This is a genuinely exciting opportunity, and I have the utmost confidence in our capacity to take this on because we have a team of talented, open-minded, and skilled educators dedicated to making this residency work."
The residency is valued at $11,000 and is offered in partnership with Young Audiences Arts for Learning of New Jersey and Eastern PA, an organization the district has worked closely with in recent years. Intermediate East's proposal was developed by Supervisor Tiffany Lucey, and identifies teachers Elisa Waller and Allison Berman as the project leads. These art educators, along with the project's steering committee-- comprised of fellow teachers, parents, administrators, and community partners-- will spend the ensuing weeks and months attending orientations, planning, and interviewing potential artists for the residency.
The mission of the Bridge to AIE is a sustainable, arts-infused opportunity through which professional artists work directly with students but also spend considerable time training staff in their expertise to forge a lasting educational experience beyond the residency. It's an opportunity Intermediate East welcomes with open arms, and one they recognize as the start of something big.
"This residency," Madigan said, "will help students and staff grow as artists and, over time, broaden their horizons, hopefully across many years of murals and large scale participatory art.
"This will be the first of its kind here at Intermediate East."
The Artists in Education Grant Program (AIE) is a co-sponsored project of Young Audiences Arts for Learning NJ and Eastern PA and the New Jersey State Council on the Arts, a partner agency of the National Endowment for the Arts. It is carried out in partnership with regional partners, including Appel Farm Arts & Music Center, Count Basie Center for the Arts, and Morris Arts.