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middle school

Developing Character(s)

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Developing Character(s)

“Kids at this age are perfectly ready to create stories. Characters spill from their brains. These characters might be the product of an active imagination, or a response to something they read in books or saw on TV, or they may possibly be a way of processing their own personal development.”

— CAW Teaching Artist Ayla Rexroth on student-created cartoon characters in the Cartoon and Anatomy program at Hamilton Grange Middle School.

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A Thread Connects Them

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A Thread Connects Them

“Design is design, whether you are cutting and pasting with paper and scissors or 'cutting and pasting' on a computer. Kids who have a chance to do both make those connections.”

— CAW Teaching Artist Brandi Martin Yu on the common thread between CAW’s Book Arts and Digital Arts after-school programs at PSMS 278 in Manhattan.

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Breathing Life into Imaginary Worlds

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Breathing Life into Imaginary Worlds

Creating a short animated video is a whole lot of fun. It’s also a whole lot of work. Bringing a few seconds of animated video to life requires hours of planning, patience, and persistence. In this Creative Art Works’ after-school program, students learned the many skills needed to bring their creative vision to life.

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The Best Day I've Had in Months!

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The Best Day I've Had in Months!

As part of our work with schools, we often invite parents to enter more deeply into the learning environment through Family Engagement workshops. These weekend and evening events allow parents to explore art-making firsthand – to experience the curiosity, creativity, and even joy inherent in the process, and to witness it in their children. We can't send a CAW Teaching Artist to your home to lead a Family Engagement workshop, but we can do the next best thing. This week’s blog includes instructions for a simplified printmaking project that you can do at home with your kids. Save it for a snowy afternoon, or make some Pinterest-worthy holiday cards today!

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Sharing the Experience

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Sharing the Experience

During a demonstration of an integrated art project, the Creative Art Works board of directors got to make their own kinetic sculptures inspired by the work of Alexander Calder. The response was so enthusiastic that we’ve decided to share with you four art projects you can do at home with your family and friends.

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There Are No Mistakes: A Conversation with Teaching Artist Zack Podgorny

There Are No Mistakes: A Conversation with Teaching Artist Zack Podgorny

As an undergraduate, I studied with Stanley Whitney, who taught me to embrace the unpredictable nature of color. Stanley said you have to admit that some things are beyond your control. When your paints don’t do what you want them to do, you have to turn that into an opportunity. That’s one of the axioms in my classroom, “There are no mistakes in art!”

Lines of Communication

Lines of Communication

In the internet age, when social media platforms allow young people to instantly broadcast their thoughts and opinions to the world with a just a few taps on their smart phone, face-to-face conversations can seem quaint, if not downright low-tech. Yet impromptu speaking is a skill that both kids and adults use every day in school, with friends and family, and on the job. In January, students in CAW after-school art workshops had a chance to talk about their art to friends, family, teachers and administrative staff in RL (real-life) at culmination events.

Atticus Finch, Superman, and Me

Atticus Finch, Superman, and Me

How can a social media post help students better understand the motivations of Atticus Finch in To Kill a Mockingbird? What qualities do Greek gods share with everyday heroes? These are questions that students in Creative Art Works' integrated arts programs are contemplating with this fall.

A Time and Space to Be a Kid

A Time and Space to Be a Kid

This fall, Creative Art Works is offering some of New York City’s most vulnerable youth an opportunity to connect with themselves and their community, develop their own voice and, simply enjoy a healthy and creative experience. CAW is providing two after-school art programs to young children and teens living in the Children’s Center, a transitional residence run by the Administration for Children’s Services (ACS) for young people who are awaiting foster care placement.

Small Stories about Big Changes

Small Stories about Big Changes

“Kids at this age want to tell their own stories. The cartooning class gives them the skills and the opportunity to do that.”

CAW Teaching Artist Tom Palmer