Art is in Everything We Do
Modrick believes art is in everything.
“(You can) find creativity and artistic engagement in everything you do,” he said.
The nonprofit’s programs teach audiences how art is a part of other subjects including, but not limited to aviation. environmental science and social studies.
Flutist Dr. Andrei Pidkivka and violinist/singer Dr. Solomia Gorskhivska are Ukranian performers in the music ensemble Gerdan (sometimes partnering as Duet Gerdan). Their performances introduce audiences to various aspects of Ukrainian culture.
“We take them on a tour to Ukraine with the different musical styles,” Pidkivka said. “We tell the stories.”
A folk music demonstration, for example, might include stories of shepherds. They wear cultural costumes, rich in colors and patterns.
“We tell the kids who made the costumes, what regions and villages they came from.”
After seeing Gerdan perform, teachers and students have said they have a better understanding of Ukrainian culture.
“Many kids don’t even know where Ukraine is,” Pidkivka said. “We say ‘name a country in Eastern Europe,’ and they say Ireland or Italy.”
On return visits, however, students have told him that the performance inspired them to take note of news from Eastern Europe, or that they chose to study Ukraine for international projects.
“(Music),” he said, “is a perfect bridge for people to connect.”
Recently, CAA partnered with Passion for Learning, Inc., Big Learning, and Sligo Middle School in S’team Sligo, a leadership development project to engage students through STEAM activities. The students created a curriculum that reflected what they were learning in their class lessons. They wrote a song about Sligo Creek , and worked with the artists to create a mural.
Art is more than just doing something because it’s fun,” said Modrick, “It’s enthusiasm. It’s a source of joy. It’s a way of life.”
This is a key lesson of Class Acts Arts’ programs. Some of Carien Quiroga’s PYA students have told her that they would have taken a different path if they had been introduced to art earlier.
She recalls one student in particular, a young man who took part in several workshops.
“He was almost expressing a wish to me. I think he realized how good he was at it and that art can be this powerful way of expression. I guess he felt successful. It was a very moving and touching moment for me to hear that.”
About the Author: Rolena M. King is a writer and marketing, communications, and branding professional based on the East Coast. She enjoys the arts, and her favorite form of art is dancing.