AmeriCorps volunteer Alder Keene has been working closely with GHCC’s Kelly Oglesbee to implement community art programming at the Barclay School in Charles Village. As a member of MICA’s Community Art Collaborative (CAC), Alder focuses on using arts-based learning experiences a way to strengthen community. Alder also writes a blog that documents her experience as a teacher and community artist and the following post is about her work with GHCC.
The Barclay School is considered a community school. This means that Barclay creates and sustains partnerships with local organizations. These connections give students extended educational opportunities and enable them to get involved within their neighborhoods beyond the walls of school. Through my placement at The Barclay School, I have also found opportunities to collaborate with several community organizations.
Last fall, in a community meeting about revitalizing the vacant Rec Center (which is on school grounds) John Bernet from GHCC approached me about facilitating a community mural. We looked at the outdoor wall, and agreed that because the space was surrounded by row homes, this could be a fantastic site for a community arts project.
Kelly Oglesbee, my site supervisor and Community School Site Coordinator for Barclay, works through GHCC as well. Because of her connections, she maintains high awareness of new opportunities for students and partners.
I have come to understand, from being at The Barclay School, that dedicated community organizations (like GHCC and Wide Angle Youth Media, which I have mentioned earlier) can help to enriching the educational experience of young learners. That is why I’m excited to work with John and the community, this spring, to create a public work of art which tells a story about our community. Stay tuned for progress on that mural! We’ll be starting in April.
To read more about Alder’s experiences as an art teacher and CAC member, visit her blog, Findings from an Art Teacher.