Return to Headlines

COCA's Monthly Arts in Education Newsletter

Join Our Mailing List
In This Month's Edition:
COCA Announcements
COCA Arts in Education Articles
Professional Development
Around Town
Job Openings
Did You Know?
Quick Links
COCA Announcements

COCA promotes your school arts programming for FREE!
Add your school plays, concerts, performances, exhibits, and cultural festivals directly to COCA's Tallahassee Arts Guide.
Simply, click the "register" button in the upper right corner and set up your own free account if you haven't already. Then enter your events and we'll help you promote them to the general public for free! We may even write a feature article about your program as part of our arts education series in the Tallahassee Democrat.
EDUCATORS - We'd love to have you as a COCA member!
COCA exists to serve the arts community and memberships are a big part of what allows us to do that. We provide services to educators and students and if you have benefited from COCA's support and resources, won't you consider become a new or renewing COCA member? We have a special category just for educators and you can learn more by clicking here.  
Questions? Feel free to contact Amanda Thompson at or 850-224-2500.
COCA Arts in Education Articles
Culture of cooperation
December 4, 2019
"Is music bland," Arnekua Jackson asks her students rhetorically. "No, so put some sugar on it." With those words of encouragement, her advanced chorus belts out lyrics to a new song they're learning.

These days the young musicians are greeting every rehearsal with particular vigor as they've been invited to perform at the National Youth Choir during the Festival at Carnegie Hall. "They're working their little tails off," said Jackson. 

As the music teacher and chorus director at Hartsfield Elementary School, she knows what an honor it is to play one of the world's most well-respected venues. Her students do too, and they aim to impress. "The work ethic, the dedication, they don't complain, not one bit," shared Jackson, who is equally dedicated. "It's something I wake up thinking about, I go to sleep thinking about. I'm dreaming about it and imagining how it's going to feel."

After three years in the chorus, Lariah Hagan is ready for her Carnegie Hall debut. "It makes me feel over the top of the roof because famous people have been on that stage and we are going to step foot on that same stage and the audience is huge," said the fifth-grader. "It's a big deal. Most kids don't get this opportunity." 

Read the rest of the story here. Check out our archived arts education articles on the COCA blog.
Music enthralls students at Tapestry Magnet
November 20, 2019
Delilah Sills believes that every child who wants to learn to play a musical instrument, should have the opportunity to do so. "It would make the world sound amazing and it would be a happy place with beautiful music," she said.
Delilah is a second grader at Apalachee Tapestry Magnet School of the Arts (ATMSA) and she's been playing the violin since the first grade. She enumerated the various benefits she's gained from her instruction. "You make new friends. You hear music and you get to learn how the process goes. I love the violin, playing it, plucking it, learning new songs, learning new patterns and making new memories that I can look back on when I grow up and say, 'I had a good childhood.'" 

Read the rest of the story here. Check out our archived arts education articles on the COCA blog.
Trinity teacher puts the mariachi in music class
November 6, 2019
"I came to this country when I was 13," said Natalie Rios. Born in England, she emigrated to Wetumpka, Alabama, in the early '80s. Rios laughed as she recalled, "it was a real culture shock. They didn't know what had hit them and I didn't know what had hit me, either. But it was through music that we reached understanding. I saw that music can break down barriers and it put me on the path to becoming a music educator." 
Rios is the music teacher at Trinity Catholic School and, based on her personal experience, she understands the importance of inclusion, diversity and representation.
She infuses those ideals through every aspect of her music curriculum and has created a Hispanic heritage unit for her kindergarten - eighth graders. "We have a pretty hefty representation of Hispanic students. Music is universal and it's a phenomenal vehicle for the students to feel very proud of their heritage. It also opens the opportunity for other students to learn about those cultures."

Read the rest of the story here. Check out our archived arts education articles on the COCA blog.
C-SPAN's StudentCam (Accepting submissions: Nov. 1 - Jan. 20, 2020)
This annual national video documentary competition encourages students to think critically about issues that affect our communities and our nation. Students in grades 6-12 are asked to create a short (5-6 minute) video documentary on a topic related to the competition theme, "What's Your Vision in 2020? Explore the issue you most want presidential candidates to address during the campaign." With cash prizes totaling $100,000 each year, C-SPAN awards prizes to 150 student documentaries, and over 50 teacher advisers. Click here for more details. 
Digital Humanities Advancement Grants (Accepting submissions: Nov. 15 - Jan. 15, 2020)
This grant supports digital projects at different stages throughout their lifecycles, from early start-up phases through implementation and sustainability. Experimentation, reuse, and extensibility are hallmarks of this program, leading to innovative work that can scale to enhance scholarly research, teaching, and public programming in the humanities. Click here to learn more. 
Advancing Arts Education (AAE) program (Accepting applications Oct. 1 - Jan. 17, 2020)
The Advancing Arts Education (AAE) program recognizes schools with underserved/emerging arts programs who desire to develop or enhance their programs. One school will be selected from each of the three regions of Florida:  North, Central, and South. As an AAE School, you will have the opportunity to collaborate with an expert consultant(s) in the field of arts and arts integration techniques in developing a plan designed to develop or enhance an arts program in your school. The Florida Alliance for Arts Education provides funding to AAE schools through the Arts for a Complete Education grant. Grant funds will be allocated to support the one-year partnership with the consultant, contingent upon receipt of legislative funding each year. The grant supports awards of $5000 per AAE designation. Click here to learn more. 
Florida Arts Model Schools (Accepting applications Oct. 1 - Jan. 17, 2020)
The Florida Department of Education (FDOE) supports a complete and comprehensive education that includes dance, music, theatre, and visual arts for all Florida students. To help achieve this goal, the Florida Department of Education, in partnership with the Florida Alliance for Arts Education (FAAE), seeks to identify model arts education programs in schools throughout Florida. The Florida Arts Model Schools (FAMS) program recognizes schools that offer exemplary programs in any of the four arts disciplines. Schools can apply for FAMS designation in one or more arts disciplines. Click here to learn more. 

Awesome Tallahassee (Deadline: Rolling)

Each month Awesome Tallahassee awards a $1,000 grant to people doing awesome things in our community. If you have a great idea for the Tallahassee area apply for a grant today!
Click here for more details.  
This online clearinghouse of research is focused on the outcomes of arts education for students and educators, both during and outside the school day. ArtsEdSearch is a project of the Arts Education Partnership (AEP), and builds on Critical Links: Learning in the Arts and Student Academic and Social Development, a compendium of research that AEP published in 2002 exploring the impact of arts education on student success in school, life and work. AEP developed ArtsEdSearch as a resource for policymakers and education stakeholders and leaders to better understand and articulate the role that arts education can play in preparing students to succeed in the changing contexts of the 21st Century. ArtsEdSearch is designed to be an interactive, living resource that will grow and evolve along with arts and education research and practice. Click here to explore the website. 
Professional Development
The National Arts Action Summit: 
Registration Now Open
(March 30-31, 2020 in Washington, D.C.)
The National Arts Action Summit is a multi-day event bringing together arts advocates from across the country. Attendees will learn the latest research and legislative arts priorities from the experts in a full-day training on March 30. That evening, The Nancy Hanks Lecture on Arts & Public Policy at The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts is sure to inspire and motivate advocates. The following day, March 31, is Arts Advocacy Day, when advocates take their passion, knowledge, and stories to Capitol Hill for meetings with their congressional leaders. Click here to learn more and register. 
Around Town
Tons of Local Holiday Fun! 
Looking for festive holiday experiences to share as a family? Check out COCA's Tallahassee Arts Guide for lots of memory making arts and cultural opportunities this season. They're all brought to you by area organizations and businesses. You're in for some special holiday fun.
Opening Reception and Awards Announcement for the 2019 Winter Festival Youth Art Exhibit (Dec. 6 from 6-7:30)
Join us to meet these young artists and their teachers as we celebrate their creativity and the holiday season! This exhibition showcases youthful talent and imagination through nearly 80 pieces of student artwork. Elementary, middle and high school art teachers submitted work on behalf of their students for the competition. The entries represent 35 different area public and private schools. The dedication and professionalism of our area art teachers is evident in the quality of the student artwork on display in the gallery and the exhibition is stunning. Click here for more details. 
VSA Artist-in-Residence
We hire artists and therapists of all art forms to work with children and teens who have disabilities in the school and DJJ system. We are currently looking for artists in your county and would love to talk with any of your staff/artist who might be interested. It is only a one hour a week commitment for 8 weeks and we have two terms a year, fall and spring. Click here for details. 
Call for Arts Mentors at Raa Middle School 
Local visual artists, musicians, dancers, and theater professionals are sought to provide mentoring to middle school arts students in Raa's Magnet Program. These students know they want a life filled with arts experiences and you can show them how. If the arts have been an important part of your life and you want to pass that on, this is the perfect opportunity for you. The commitment is very low, just one hour per week, and Leon County Schools takes care of all the rest at no cost to you. Support these students by helping them develop communication and social skills, positive relationships with adults, as well as a life-long love of the arts. If you are interested or want more details, here or contact Raa's Magnet Coordinator, Sam Thompson at or 488-6287.  
Job Openings
Seeking Piano Instructor in Thomasville
Music Lessons Express is seeking an instructor to teach private piano lessons in Thomasville, GA, on Saturdays starting in January 2020. Candidates should have at least one year of teaching experience and be comfortable teaching all ages and levels. Instructors must have reliable transportation, excellent communication skills, and excellent time management skills. Click here to see the requirements, responsibilities, and to apply. 
Did You Know?
The world's ugliest color is Pantone 448 C, or "opaque couché." It is a greenish brown-gray that looks like it spent a few decades in a sewer. If you find it unpleasant, that's the point. The Australian government hired research agency GfK to redesign cigarette packaging in 2012, and they determined (with seven studies and 1,000 regular smokers) that this was the most deterring color to pair with the anti-smoking graphics.
Read more by clicking here.
About the Arts in Education Newsletter
Amanda Karioth Thompson
Assistant Director
Education & Exhibitions Manager
Council on Culture & Arts
phone: 850-224-2500
fax: 850-224-2515
To submit listings for COCA's Arts in Education Monthly Newsletter, send a description of 50 words or less to Amanda Karioth Thompson at COCA reserves the right to include or exclude any listing at its discretion and to determine the content and placement of all listings. Deadline for submission is 5:00pm on the fourth Monday of the month.
COCA does not endorse any artists, organizations, or programs listed herein, nor imply stature through their inclusion in this newsletter. While we have made every effort to insure that this information is correct, we cannot guarantee the accuracy, completeness, or timeliness of the information.

COCA's programs are sponsored in part by the City of Tallahassee, Leon County, the State of Florida, Department of State, Division of Cultural Affairs, and the Florida Council on Arts and Culture.