Photo of a woman grinning, wearing a purple blouse and long earrings, standing in front of a doorway
Jamie Winter Dawson
We would like you to meet our Roster Teaching Artist Jamie Winter Dawson, professional artist, art instructor, and passionate arts advocate in the Twin Cities. For over fourteen years, she has coordinated, taught, and led arts programs and classes for children and adults with special needs in a variety of venues including educational settings, advocacy programs, and nonprofit organizations. She specializes in connecting resources with communities and artists to bring a rich, engaging, and sustainable arts experience to everyone involved.

Jamie will be working with school staff, Ms. Super, Ms. Leslie, Ms. Anderson, at Oneka Elementary, to cultivate a collaborative culture and support the learning of each student. This will be her second year participating in VSA Minnesota and Perpich Center for Arts Educaion’s Arts Bridge project. This residency will be designed to develop and foster social and behavioral skills in students and provide a deeper engagement with the curriculum through exposure to the visual arts. Follow along with our blog to see these students get a chance to express themselves through different media!

Introducing our newest Roster Teaching Artist, Lyndie Walker, MT-BC, Director of Clinical Services and board certified music therapist at Toneworks Music Therapy Services. You may have heard her at community orchestras or chamber ensembles when she is not hard at work providing music therapy sessions for individuals, families or groups. Lyndie has been an artist-in-residence in the schools through Arts for Academic Achievement and grants from the Minnesota State Arts Board Arts and Cultural Heritage fund.

This year, she will be working with Ms. Batts and Ms. Pierce’s Early Childhood Special Education classrooms at Rockford Elementary Arts Magnet School to enhance creative expression and personal development through music as apart of VSA Minnesota and Perpich Center for Arts Educaion’s Arts Bridge project. Stay tuned to HEAR about their experience!

Transition Plus students in Anoka work together to create a collaborative clay tile and mosaic mural during an Arts Bridge residency 2013.

Teaching & Learning Arts Bridge 2014 Begins

This is a project to build skills through the Arts in students with disabilities and collaborative skills in Teaching Artists and Teachers in Special Education settings.This program is provided under a contract with the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.

VSA Minnesota has partnered again with the Perpich Center for Arts Education to implement Teaching & Learning Arts Bridge - a project is designed to build skills through the Arts in students with disabilities and collaborative skills in Teaching Artists and Teachers in Special Education settings.

Arts Bridge aims to develop and implement innovative curriculum that will enhance and support academic learning and achievement through Arts for students with disabilities. This initiative is designed to support collaboration between Host Teachers and Teaching Artists and support Teachers’ efforts to integrate the Arts in the curriculum while engaging students in meaningful, high quality arts learning experiences.

Participating teachers will receive embedded professional development on partnering and planning with a Teaching Artist, an Assistant and a Coach during a 10-session residency in their classroom that integrates dance, music, theater, storytelling, visual, media or literary arts with a goal of deepening student engagement, knowledge and achievement.

In JanuaryTeams will establish clear instructional goals, develop engaging activities, make plans to support and enhance sequential learning, align instruction with standards and benchmarks, and determine assessment outcomes. The residencies will take place during February-May.

For more information about how you can participate, please contact: Jenea Rewertz-Targui, Arts in Education Coordinator, or 612-332-3888.

 “VSA Minnesota’s Teaching & Learning Arts Bridge,” final in-service, Perpich Center for Arts Education, Golden Valley

several adults gathered at a table with computers, papers and refreshments. A large screen behind them shows other adults In person or by video chat via ‘Skype’ or ‘Face Time', Teaching Artists and Host Teacher Teams shared about their experience in VSA Minnesota’s Arts Bridge Project during a final in-service in partnership with the Perpich Center for Arts Education last week. Thanks to tools from the Artful Handbook, teams had an insightful conversation about their teaching and learning experience during their arts-integrated residency.

A total of 7 teachers , 7 teaching artists, and 6 teaching artist assistants received one and half days of professional development led by Perpich Center for Arts Education staff. Teams designed an arts-integrated residency, tied to curriculum and address selected elements of the Minnesota Academic Standards with assistance from PCAE staff. Using instructional planning tools for collaborative planning, Teams established clear instructional goals, developed engaging activities, made plans to support and enhance sequential learning, aligned instruction with standards and benchmarks, and determined assessment outcomes.

VSA Minnesota’s Teaching & Learning Arts Bridge is a project to build skills through the Arts in students with disabilities and collaborative skills in Teaching Artists and Teachers in Special Education settings. This program is provided under a contract with the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.

Artist-in-Residence Site:  Transition Plus
403 Jackson St. Suite 206, Anoka (Con. Dist. 6)

Collaborating Teacher: Terri Breems
Teaching Artists: Anne Krocak; April Conlee, Assistant
Art Form: Visual Arts

Project Overview
Two groups of students worked collaboratively to design and create a handmade clay tile, found object, mosaic wall-hanging that reflects individuals’ creativity and their views about community. With the help of artist in residence Anne Krocak, students dreamed up the imagery to use to express those elements, then meticulously fixed translucent beads, metal pieces, glass tiles and clay figures on mesh canvases. Scenes describing favorite parts of school include images depicting self-awareness, physical fitness, cooking, budgeting, mental health awareness and more. The two one-of-a-kind mosaics will soon be on display in two Anoka-Hennepin School District buildings. Students had a final unvieling of one of them for the school and community during student appreciation day.

Project Highlights
“The students really responded well to the project activities and the process. The class was organized in a way that supported learning and the students then were always excited to see the next step in the project. Finished projects turned out beautifully, students had a better understanding of public art and their ability to work as an artist contributing to their community.” – Anne Krocak, Artist.

“These students have not only learned how to create a mosaic and all the artistry that goes in to it, they’ve also learned different job skills, how to do something for the community, how to work together, have their voice heard. This has helped them cope with stress and anxiety, they’ve explored leisure time activities and they’ve been exposed to different opportunities within art and art therapies. These students are engaged and they’re excited about it and they’ve learned so much.” – Terri Breems, Teacher.

Artist-in-Residence Site:  North Park Elementary
5575 Fillmore St NE, Fridley (Con. Dist. 5)

Collaborating Teacher: Scott Larson
Teaching Artist: Gustavo Boada
Art form: Mask-making, Puppetry

Project Overview
Students will develop an understanding of puppetry and mask-making by designing and creating their own masks inspired by animals of Africa. They will learn about visual art elements of design (shape, form, line, texture, and color) through the process of papier-mâché. For more pictures:

Project Highlights
“End product was amazing. Students were very enthusiastic about projected and were excited to show project others. Students were very helpful to each other.” – Scott Larson, Teacher.

“The most successful part of this residency has been the participation and communication among students due to the fact that the process (tearing the paper into pieces and put glue paste on paper) creates a psychomotor routine that allows the distension and the class becomes a atmosphere of confidence. In the first class, had two groups with different ages, levels of interest and demand, although the interaction between the two groups is indirect, however resulted in a decrease in the average attention time.” – Gustavo Boada, Artist.

Artist-in-Residence Site: WELS-South and CAP Program, Dist. 191
70 West County Road B2, Little Canada (Con. Dist. 4)

Collaborating Teacher: Erin Phelps-Stark
Teaching Artists: Linda Moraal
Art Form: Clay Tile Mosaics

Project Overview
Students participated in clay activities designed to increase engagement, strengthen social skills and learn more about each other through group interaction. They worked collaboratively with peers from WELS South and CAP program, staff and the Clay Lady to create an original tile mosaic. The focus of the final piece symbolized safety and respect. Friends and family celebrated the final work completed during a reception. Complete work will be installed in the entrance of the building.

Project Highlights
“Everyone was very respectful of their coworkers and also of time constraints today. Everyone came ready to work hard. Everyone listened, and asked appropriate questions.” -- Linda Moraal, Artist.

“Students from two programs who typically don't work together had to work side by side. It was challenging. The programs also have different manangers with different styles of staff/student interaction. We thought the WELS South students would struggle more socially but actually, the more chanlleged DCD/ASD were more interactive and on task than the CAP students whose labels included mild DCD/moderate to severe ASD/MI.

Know that I am so appreciative of the opportunities WELS South has had. Further, I have learned SO MUCH from each artist VSA Minnesota has provided. Thank you for helping promote these unforgettable experiences.” – Erin Phelps-Stark, Teacher.