ATLAS – A Professional Development Program & Art Exhibition

 In Joseph Spilberg

On May 10, 2018, we will feature the work of our ATLAS teachers and their students in an exhibition, titled INTERSECTIONS: Arts and Technology. Please join us there, and read on for more information about ATLAS and the exhibition.

  • Date and Time: Thursday, May 10, 2018- Curriculum Presentations 4:45 to 6pm; Public Reception 6 to 8pm
  • Location: Hairpin Arts Center at 2810 N. Milwaukee, 2nd Floor, Chicago, IL 60618
  • Additional Gallery Hours: Monday through Friday, May 3-May 11, 10am-1pm, or by request.

For the past three years, CAPE, in partnership with the Chicago Public Schools Department of Arts Education, has been implementing the ATLAS program. ATLAS is a three-year teacher professional development program funded by the US Department of Education, and the goal was to challenge fine arts teachers (dance, music, visual art, and theatre teachers) at 35 Fine & Performing Arts Magnet Cluster schools to re-imagine technology and digital media as an art material, rather than an app or ready-made project.

From Orozco Elementary, where students asked, “How can math, science, and technology integrate with visual art to lead us to deeper connections and engagement with our creations?”

The participating arts, music, dance, and theater teachers have attended extensive professional development focused intensely on honing their familiarity and comfort with a variety of digital media tools. The teachers also developed personal inquiry questions to guide their work in the classroom and explore the integration of technology and the arts. Mark Diaz, CAPE’s Program Manager for ATLAS, has brought in more than a dozen CAPE teaching artists, who specialize in the use of digital media in their own art making, to lead hands-on workshops that have challenged our teachers to consider how digital material can be used and manipulated to research ideas and share knowledge generated through art making.

From Hurley Elementary, where students asked, “How do writers use descriptive language to create a visual image in the reader’s mind? How can I recreate a scene from a book into a stop-motion animation and portray the places and characters described in the story?”

More than 40 hours of professional development sessions were offered during each year of the ATLAS program. The participating fine arts teachers continually brought their new knowledge and skills from these sessions back to their schools, where they then collaborated with other classroom teachers to integrate technology-based art making approaches into other subject areas across grade levels.

From Boone Elementary, where students asked, “How do choreographers create dances and where do they get their ideas? How can various art forms – such as dance, media arts, music and visual art – work together to create a performance?”

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