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COCA's Monthly Arts in Education Newsletter

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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
Shana Tucker's ChamberSoul resonates with Pineview students
October 23, 2019 

Cellist, singer, songwriter, storyteller, Shana Tucker is a woman of many talents. In fact, she's had to invent new words to encompass it all. She recently visited with students at Pineview Elementary School and offered a "SongStories" "informance" highlighting her self-described musical genre "ChamberSoul."  

Part concert, part workshop, the interactive experience provided third, fourth and fifth graders an introduction to the practice of songwriting. Students also saw how melody, harmony, and lyrics intersect. It was all part of the In Class program presented by Opening Nights at FSU.

As a professional performer, Tucker travels the country weaving jazz, classical, soulful folk, acoustic pop and a touch of R&B into her music. She eagerly seeks opportunities to educate adult and young audiences about the role of musician-as-storyteller. "Songs are stories," she said, and "people, especially children, need to be reminded that they have a voice and they can sing."

Read the rest of the story here. Check out our archived arts education articles on the COCA blog.
Theater students party like it's a 1980s prom
October 16, 2019
Thirty years after the decade ended, the 1980s are staging a comeback at Lincoln High School. Though the cast of "The Awesome 80s Prom" was born in the new millennium, they're inviting audience members to travel back in time through this interactive production.

To channel the spirit of the show, 12th-grader Elizabeth Blair looked to someone who knows what it was like to be a teenager in the '80s. "My mom graduated from high school in '85. For research, we've been watching movies like 'Breakfast Club' and 'Pretty in Pink.' I was practicing my makeup for the show and my mom helped me tease up my hair," laughed Elizabeth.

"This has been a good way for us to learn about each other. We've been able to build this bond around the show. One of the reasons I do live theater is that feeling of human connection with other people. I want to go into this field professionally and I want to inspire and connect with people. I think that's something, especially in this digital age, we're kind of lacking."

Elizabeth has been performing since she was 4 years old but there are several cast members who are new to the stage. Liliana Virgen confessed "Singing, dancing, acting, it's all just slapped me in the face. I've never done this, but I pushed myself through. I haven't had training and I'm not the best, but just to know I have something that makes me this happy, I don't care if I'm terrible, I just want to do it."

Read the rest of the story here. Check out our archived arts education articles on the COCA blog.
Gretchen Everhart students pour hearts into art
October 9, 2019
Standing in front of his artwork, Marcus McCullough, 21, is eager to share his feelings on the subject. "I draw pictures and I do everything. I love painting best because it's hard. I'm happy to make art." He attends Gretchen Everhart School which serves students with intellectual disabilities ages 3 to 22. 

This particular project showcased Marcus' skill with a brush. He chose a patriotic palette of red, white and blue to render a stylized American flag, paying tribute to those who served in the military.

The concept was a collaboration between the GFWC Capital City Woman's Club, Tallahassee National Cemetery, Everhart, and Franklin County School with substantial support from Everhart's art teacher Judy Jecko. 

Rose O'Leary is the co-chair of the Woman's Club arts committee and she explained how the project came to be. "We contacted Judy and she's wonderful. In the past, our committee has worked with people with special needs to make art and this year it evolved into a patriotic project that honors veterans." 

Numerous volunteers and students worked together to create artworks for display at the Tallahassee National Cemetery. O'Leary shared that the project holds personal significance as her husband is buried there. Through her tears, she said "our goal was to create art that's meaningful and brings joy to other people too."

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. 

Art Portfolio Contest for High School Seniors (Deadline: Nov. 15)
The Florida State Fair is proud to provide an opportunity for your most talented art students to receive scholarship money for their continuing education after they graduate High School. The Entry Form is online and is now ready to accept entries. The online entry form allows student to complete their entry form as well as upload 7-10 images for their portfolio. Click here to learn more. 
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. 
Educational outreach project by artist Elizabeth A. Baker
Up to 16 in-school workshops for the 2019-2020 school year have been subsidized by a grant from the State of Florida. Teachers interested in a FREE interactive workshop for students should send an email to or to start the booking process. Free workshops are first-come-first-serve, and subject to Elizabeth's appearance schedule availability. Click here to learn more about Elizabeth A. Baker and her work.  

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.  
Professional Development
2019 FAEA Professional Development Conference (November 7-10)
The annual Florida Art Education Association Conference will take place at the Marriott Sawgrass Golf Resort & Spa in in Ponte Vedra Beach. Early registration has already begun. Click here to learn more about the conference and to register.
Arts For All November Webinar: Working Collaboratively with the Special Education Teacher and Paraprofessional in the Art Classroom
Frustrated with paraprofessionals in your classroom? Feel like the special education teachers don't tell you enough about their students? Learn how to work WITH paraprofessionals and special education teachers to benefit each other and everyone else in your art room! You will learn successful strategies on how to work with special education teachers and paraprofessionals to help them help you. 
  • November 7, 4-5 pm (east coast)
  • November 14, 4-5 pm (east coast)
To register for a FREE webinar, please click here.
Around Town
COCA promotes school arts programming and summer camps for FREE!
Add your school plays, concerts, performances, exhibits, festivals, and camps directly to our new Tallahassee Arts Guide. It only takes a few minutes to register and send us information about your arts related school events. They will be listed on the Tallahassee Arts Guide and we'll help you promote them for free!

We may even write a feature article about your program as part of our weekly arts education series in the Tallahassee Democrat! Questions? Contact Amanda Karioth Thompson at 850-224-2500.
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. 
Brush & Palette After-School Art Teachers
Part-time position for the academic school year, August through May. Pay is based on enrollment numbers and teachers are encouraged to promote their classes.

Elementary School Art Teacher
Classes meet after school on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, from 3- 6:30 pm. Applicants must have some experience working with elementary school children and have basic drawing skills. Click here for more.
Middle School Art Teacher
Part-time position for academic school year, August through May.
Classes meet on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 4 until 6:30 pm.
Applicants must have some experience working with middle school students and have basic drawing and mixed media knowledge. Click here for more.
Did You Know?
At the Baltimore School of The Arts, Tupac Shakur studied acting, poetry, jazz, and ballet. In the school production of The Nutcracker, he played the role of Mouse King. 
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.