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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
Did You Know?
Quick Links
COCA Announcements

Got Summer Camp Info?
We'll promote it for FREE!

It only takes a few minutes to post your arts related summer camps, workshops, and classes on 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 list your summer camps as events. We'll promote them directly to parents, grandparents, and caregivers for free. We may even write a feature article about your camp as part of our weekly arts education series in the Tallahassee Democrat.
Questions? Feel free to contact Amanda Thompson at
 or 850-224-2500
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? You can learn more by clicking here.  
Questions? Feel free to contact Amanda Thompson at or 850-224-2500.
COCA Arts in Education Articles
Holy Comforter students dip into language of music
January 08, 2020
Holy Comforter Episcopal School was founded in 1955 with 25 kindergarten students and one teacher. It now boasts an enrollment of more than 525 pre-Kindergarten - eighth graders. A lot has changed in the last 65 years and though HCES has retained many long-held traditions, it has modernized to meet changing needs of its students.

The latest addition is a newly constructed space called "The Commons" which will house an auditorium, art gallery and dining area.

Andy Nathan explained, "unlike a lot of these spaces which are really cafeterias you can perform and show artwork in, this really is an art space that you eat in." Nathan is one of the music teachers at HCES and he is especially pleased about the acoustics in the space as well as state-of-the-art lighting and sound capabilities. The specialized technology is matched by a unique program he recently introduced to this middle school music students. 

Nathan applied for and received an Arts Education Grant from the Council on Culture & Arts. With the grant funds, he was able to purchase five musical instrument digital interface (MIDI) keyboards for students to use for both digital composition and digital performance.

Read the rest of the story here. Check out our archived arts education articles on the COCA blog.
Teamwork adds to the special glow at Springwood
January 22, 2020
Teamwork is a way of life at Springwood Elementary School. One of the best places to see it in action is in the subject areas of art and music. Though art teacher Sammantha Sanchez has only taught for two years, she knows veteran music teacher Mary Register is eager to share her wisdom acquired through nearly 20 years in the classroom. 

"Me and Mary spend every minute together," said Sanchez. "I couldn't do half of what I do without her. I tend to vibe off people and we're on the same page. The connection was made immediately, and the kids can tell that too." Register agrees and added, "I love when we do things together. When we feed off each other, it makes everything better."

This kind of cross-disciplinary and collaborative approach proves to be beneficial modeling behavior for the students. Register especially sees the effects with her Ritmos percussion ensemble. Spanish for rhythm, Ritmos is comprised of fourth and fifth grade music students. In addition to their regular music studies, they work for 12 weeks to learn material which culminates in a performance for family and friends. 

Read the rest of the story here. Check out our archived arts education articles on the COCA blog.
Florida Animation Festival - Call for Submissions (Deadline: March 3, 2020)
New for the 2020 festival is the addition of two divisions for young animators. Creators aged 12 and under are "Debut Junior" and animators between 13 - 17 are "Debut." There is no submission fee for these categories and, as it is our first year opening up these specific categories, the judging process will be independent from paid-for submissions. Click here for more details. 
Doodles for Google (Deadline: March 13)
Doodles are the fun, surprising, and sometimes spontaneous changes that are made to the Google logo to celebrate holidays, anniversaries, and the lives of famous artists, pioneers, and scientists. The Doodle for Google Competition is designed to encourage eligible U.S. school students to use their creativity to create their own interpretation of the Google logo. Judges will choose the winning entries, and prizes will be awarded in accordance with these Official Rules. This year's Doodle for Google theme is: "I show kindness by..." Learn more about this opportunity by clicking here
The Black Violin Foundation's Musical Innovation Grant (Deadline: March 28)
This program provides scholarships of up to $2,500 to youth, ages 12-22, who would like to continue their musical education through a program of their liking that fosters musical creativity and innovation. Programs can range from private lessons, to summer music camps, to college courses. Proof of program legitimacy must be provided during the application process. Click here for more details.

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
STAR: State Teacher/Artist Residency (Deadline: April 24)
A cooperative program of the Florida Alliance for Arts Education (FAAE), the STAR program is designed to honor and nourish the artist in the educator by providing five public school educators from Florida with the opportunity to pursue their artistic work in the inspiring environment of the prestigious Hermitage Artist Retreat. Four-week residencies will be offered to two visual artists; two writers (fiction/non-fiction/poetry/playwriting); and one composer. Click here for more details and to apply.
Become a STEAM Leader with the Innovation Collaborative
The Innovation Collaborative is a DC-based coalition of leading national sciences, arts, and humanities institutions working together to provide a firm research-based foundation for the growing STEAM movement. This 2019-20 academic year, through continued funding from the National Endowment for the
Arts, the Collaborative is inviting a select group of teachers to participate. Participating teachers receive for free, research-validated STEAM teacher professional development. To learn more about this opportunity, click here. To indicate your interest in participating, contact the project's director, Lucinda Presley at
Around Town
White Mouse Auditions (Feb 4)
White Mouse Theatre Productions is hosting auditions for two spring shows: "Boy King" and "Moonchildren." Auditions will be held at FSU in HCB 216 (located at 989 Learning Way, Tallahassee) from 6pm - 8pm. Please come prepared with a one-minute monologue. If you can't make it, send a video of your monologue to Click here for more. 

Nominate a young women the community ought to know (Deadline Feb. 6)
During Women's History Month each year, the Tallahassee Democrat recognizes a new group of 25 Women who are making an impact in Tallahassee. At the same time, we recognize 5 Young Women to Watch. These high school age girls are on the way to changing not only our community, but the world. They give of their time and talents to others and still manage to succeed in sports or other extracurricular activities while maintaining their impressive GPAs.

If you're a teacher, administrator, coach, advisor or anyone else who works with young women, please go to and fill out the short nomination form. Throughout March, the Democrat will publish individual profiles on the 25 chosen women and 5 young women in the newspaper and on The women will be honored with a reception in April. 
Big Bend Community Orchestra Young Artist Competition Concert (Feb. 9 at Turner Auditorium at TCC)
Several young artists from our area will be showcasing their talent as part of the BBCO's annual Young Artist Competition concert.This is a prestigious honor, as these students had to audition and compete against many very talented students. Congratulations to this year's winners: Katie Mann (cello), Petra Croom (violin), and Anna Cate Cole (violin). Click here for more details about the concert. 
Magic Tree House (Feb. 7-16 at Young Actors Theatre)
The ever popular children's book sparks to life on stage in this Tallahassee Premiere. While siblings Jack and Annie Smith are out exploring one afternoon, they stumble upon a tree house full of books. They soon discover the tree house is magical and can transport them to the exciting and mysterious places found within the pages of the books. Based on Mary Pope Osborne's award-winning fantasy adventure books from the Magic Tree House series, which has sold more than 100 million copies worldwide, this musical adventure will delight audiences of all ages. Click here for more info.
Art From A Different Perspective (Feb. 22 at Kleman Plaza)
Presented by Tallahassee Downtown and Gretchen Everhart School, this event will highlight and celebrate the talents of our community who are differently abled; giving everyone an opportunity to participate in activities to bring awareness to our senses and how perspective and experience changes with different sensory experiences. This free family-friendly event will feature vendors, booths, activities, and performances by community groups and local artists. It is open and accessible for all members of our community. Click here for more details. 
TYO 30th Anniversary Concert (Feb. 23 at Ruby Diamond Concert Hall)
Tallahassee Youth Orchestras is thrilled to celebrate their 30th season serving the young musicians of North Florida and South Georgia. This Anniversary Concert will feature members of the Tallahassee Symphony Orchestra playing alongside our TYO Symphony. We will also have students from Thomasville's Rose City Strings Project playing together with our Chamber Orchestra and Intermezzo Strings. While you wait for the doors of Ruby Diamond to open, don't miss our Silent Auction in the lobby. The funds raised go toward our TYO Scholarship Program. Learn more here

Free Open Dress Rehearsal of the TSO (March 14 at Ruby Diamond Concert Hall)
Bring the whole family to the FREE open rehearsal for the the Tallahassee Symphony Orchestra's "Shostakovich Triumphant" concert. You'll enjoy fantastic music and get to observe our conductor Darko Butorac interact with the orchestra. Darko will also speak with attendees during the break. This is a casual come-and-go environment and all are welcome. (TSO asks that small children kindly sit at the back of the hall.) Click here for more details. 

Call for Student Volunteers (Deadline: April 16)
Interested in art, live music, performance and community events? Need volunteer hours? Come get first-hand experience by volunteering at the 20th Annual Chain of Parks Art Festival. Experience 170 fine artists, food trucks, live entertainment all day, optical illusion chalk art, kids area, and so much more! Park Avenue Chain of Parks, Downtown Tallahassee, Florida. Volunteer hour verification forms provided and volunteers will have access to the Behind the Scenes tent with refreshments. Click here for more details and to sign up. 
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.  
Mission San Luis Spring and Summer 2020 Education Internships
The primary job description is to assist the Mission San Luis Education Department in creating programming to inform the public of the history of Mission San Luis. Click for more info regarding the position available in the spring and summer 2020. 
Did You Know?
After African American performer Josephine Baker expatriated to France, she famously smuggled military intelligence to French allies during World War II. She did this by pinning secrets inside her dress, as well as hiding them in her sheet music. 

Read more about her and her fight against racism 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.