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JMAC Proposal Process: Adult Professionals & Kids = Better Together

This past week GBC Leadership and Joscelyn applied for the JMAC Spring Artist in Residency Program in Worcester, MA. As any follower of GBC knows, we as a group enjoy learning about the creative gems in our state and beyond. The JMAC opened in March 2020 and we're sure it will develop into a wonderful artistic outlet for the community.

The process of developing a project concept with the elder GBC's was a wonderful learning opportunity in itself. Members got to envision themselves working with more professionals and school districts and collaborate on the vision. We determined to propose a project that would allow students to turn their stories, experiences, and feelings from the past year into various modalities of art - including theater, of course!

A GBC 6th grader write the following mission statement for the proposed residency project:

If I had to describe our mission of this project in one sentence, it would be: Our mission of this project is to not only to provide a more diverse community a space to creatively express their thoughts and emotions though whatever expressive form they connect to, but to also open up our worlds to be more inclusive while partnering with other groups who have already achieved this.

As we discussed possibilities, it became clear that the we wanted to expand and offer the GBC style experience to others and thus reached out to the Blackstone Valley Education Foundation. BVEF was awesome to communicate with and became a supporting partner - meaning we could now include 14 school districts in our project proposal! It is exciting just to think about collaborating with this many districts creatively!

One exciting possibility of the project is the opportunity for involved students to work with professionals in a practical, action-oriented way. This project-based learning is invaluable for kids and just can not be replicated by presentation only learning. For example, I gave a GBC Member and a Set Design Professional the same concept to create a set design sketch for this project proposal. This would be for a timed walk-through tour of performance art representing students stories. The GBC and professional designer got the same info and were asked to make it a bit surreal and whimsical. You can see the different results below...isn't it wonderful how they interpreted things differently? If we were to move forward with the project, these two (and other accepted students) would then work together to collaborate. Kids would learn all the engineering aspects that go into set design as well as budgets, etc. This brings learning about the arts well beyond the imagination and into real life.

Below: Set Design by GBC Member Grade 5

Below: Set Design by

Inspiration pieces for Set Design Illustration by Claire

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