Kia ora. Welcome to the second newsletter of 2020. It comes after an extraordinary few months and just as we step down to level 1 and a ‘new normal’ for Aotearoa New Zealand.
We hope that remote teaching and learning proved to be reasonably effective for you and your students. We have heard many remarkable stories of success from schools around the country – but we also recognise that there were significant challenges as a result of the lockdown, and that some students now need support to catch up.
We trust that the guidance and support for distance learning in the Arts Online email lists was helpful to you during lockdown – and that you enjoy this newsletter and continue to benefit from the sharing of expertise and experience within the Arts Online communities and mailing lists.
Ngā mihi nui
On behalf of the Arts Online team
Sally Waanders – Art History
Bridget Blair – Visual Arts
Patrice O’ Brien – Dance
Ryan Timoko-Benjamin – Drama
Martin Emo - Music/Sound Arts
Jane Ferguson & Simon Chiaroni – Administrators, Cognition Education
Arts teachers all over New Zealand in all sectors of education were delighted with the comments by Perry Rush, President of the New Zealand Principals’ Federation, who exhorted principals to bring the arts back into classrooms. He envisaged an education system that prioritised the arts not just by teaching them but also by using them in an integrated way with other curriculum areas.
His comments were in response to the provision of the first arts resource from the Ministry of Education in over 10 years. This resource, the Te Rito Toi website, was developed by Professor Peter O’Connor at the University of Auckland with his team of educators. The resource has been designed to help teachers work with young people when they return to school after the COVID-19 lockdown.
However, Rush went further. He emphasised the importance of the skills the arts teach including critical thinking, problem solving, creativity, insight and empathy. “Any society that strips its education system of what it means to be human and denies its young citizens the opportunity to explore and celebrate human expression should be concerned about how this affects a healthy functioning democracy. There has never been a time to be more vigilant and protective of the humanities and artistic expression than now!”
Rush suggests a three-stage plan to rebuild arts education:
Revitalise pre-service teacher training by giving status to practical as well as theoretical learning.
Build pathways for arts curriculum leadership to flourish, and enable these leaders to excite and inspire arts learning in our schools.
Remove the dominance of literacy and numeracy in determining school quality, thereby encouraging the understanding that every curriculum area, including the arts, has status.
I’m sure everyone reading this understands the value of the arts and applauds what Rush has said. We know we have an exciting arts curriculum that is the envy of many other countries. Now that we’re back at school, let’s prioritise the arts, emphasising their importance and claiming back a space for arts education for our students.
Patrice O’ Brien – National Facilitator, Dance
Creatives in Schools There is an expansion in this initiative thanks to COVID-19 funding through Budget 2020. With the additional funding, there will be an increase in the total number of projects from 304 to 510 over the next three years. Applications for the second round of up to 110 projects will open on 25 June for implementation at any time during Terms 1 to 4 in 2021. Applications will close on 21 August, with successful schools and kura notified in late October. Each project will be a high-calibre and in-depth engagement lasting from 8 to 20 weeks. Teachers and creative practitioners will work in partnership to provide creative learning opportunities for students and ākonga. The projects will enhance the wellbeing of students and ākonga, improve their skills in communication, collaboration and creative thinking, and raise their awareness of creative careers. Projects need not be limited to the New Zealand Curriculum arts disciplines of visual arts, dance, drama and music – there are also opportunities for creatives to share their expertise in areas such as film-making, game design, fashion design, spoken word, Pacific arts, and ngā toi Māori (e.g., raranga and whakairo). Funding is available to schools and kura for teacher release time, working with the creative practitioner, planning and reporting, and some projects materials. For more information on the programme visit Arts Online. You can also contact CreativesinSchools@education.govt.nz.
From AKO Magazine, Mark Jensen, drama teacher at Northcross Intermediate School in Auckland, talks about how performing arts activities have been used by staff across the school as a positive way to reconnect with their thousand-plus students in the first days of reopening at Level 2.
Updated daily is a curated list and portal of stage shows, plays, musicals and opera that you can watch online for free due to theatre closures continuing globally as a result of COVID-19.
Drama New Zealand “ reaching the Edges” PLD Workshops:
A workshop on devising led by Sam Scott from Massive Company looking at devising through the Massive lens. Wednesday 10th and Thursday 11th June. Participants need to commit to attending both sessions.
A workshop led by acclaimed Broadway and West End performer Hayden Tee, who will lead you through his page to stage process for characterisations, which include Trunchbull from Matilda and Javert from Les Miserables. Wednesday 17th June 4.30-6.00pm.
Led by the team from HAWFAE Otago/Southland, a workshop looking at the importance of wellbeing whilst unpacking the resources available through the Drama NZ website. Wednesday 24th June 4pm - 5.30pm.
Massive Company Workshops – free workshops for the 14-25 year old age bracket in the July school holidays. We would love to see your students at them. Anyone in this age range can enrol. We welcome people from outside of these regions as well
July 14–17 10am-4pm @ Mangere Arts Centre, with co-tutors Ebony Andrew & Margaret-Mary Hollins and trainee tutor Villa Lemanu
Whangarei July 18–19 10am-4pm @ One One Six, with co-tutors Celeste De Freitas & Sam Scott
Resources/Links Te Rito Toi is a website to support teachers and learners returning to classrooms following traumatic events. In the sequence The Emperor and the Magic Goose targeting NZC curriculum level 3 in Drama, teachers and students look at loneliness and togetherness to consider the question: How in the short term can people cooperate to deal with an immediate threat, and in the longer term plan to remove the threat and turn it into an opportunity?
During the last few weeks there has been welcome support for dance education from professional dance companies. We applaud their willingness to support dance education despite this being a very difficult time for them as well:
Jack Gray from Atamira gave an online keynote address to the subject association remote conference
The RNZB ballet company has made resources available, screened material suitable to support our learners, and hosted an online forum to discuss the works in Salute.
NZDC has made their written resources available to schools online.
The impact of Covid-19 on teaching and music educators has been large. Not only was it teaching in lockdown, but teaching a practical subject that relies on a large number of other teachers (itinerant music teachers) to deliver content, often involving instruments that require spit and breath and groups with close contact.
This caused quite a bit of anxiety, stress and challenges. The general feeling is that teachers and students are really feeling the effect of what will be a 23-week term. All teachers worked their term 1 holidays to pivot to online, and so there are concerns with their well-being.
The findings of a short 8-question equity survey about instrument and internet access were sobering. Out of 40 schools, the majority of their students did not have instruments at home, lacked internet, and their itinerant music teachers also lacked internet and resources to continue teaching online. Whilst some students received modems and devices, I know of one decile 3 school that only received 3 laptops across their entire school. This lack of equity existed before Covid-19, but it was highlighted as an ongoing issue that requires more in-depth research. I would be happy to share the other findings of my equity survey if requested.
Additionally the lack of adequate ventilation and heating in many practice rooms, was raised in the return to schools. Again, it was an issue that existed prior to Covid-19, but was never resolved.
Most popular threads on musicnet
In response to various Musicnet threads, and a specific online meeting, the MENZA ITM working group created some guidelines for ITMs heading into schools. This was downloaded 300 times within 1 hr, and currently has been downloaded over 1400 times.
Additions to the TRE
Two resources outlining the Level 3 Research process were uploaded. They describe the different stages of the music research process in detail and divide it into 9 different 'chunks'. There is also a checklist of the 9 stages for student planning and teacher tracking of the research process.
Collaboration with NZQA and MoE about key updates
In my role as MENZA Digital Kaiārahi(see below for more details), I ran a very successful workshop that included Matthew Stenbo, Ministry of Education Senor Subject advisor, Delysse Glynn, the National Assessment Moderator from NZQA, Karen Scott, the National Assessment Facilitator from NZQA, and other NZQA School liaison officers. Updates on the new Level 1-3 NCEA resources were shared and discussed. Over 60 teachers attended, and this is now recognised as a great model for how NZQA might run workshops with teachers.
Promotions of Arts Online with subject associations, workshops etc
Within a week of Level 4 lockdown, I started an additional role as the MENZA Digital Kaiārahi funded from the Network of Expertise contract with the Ministry of Education. I ran 16 online workshops/chats for teachers and educators. This included specific workshops for ECE, Primary, Itinerant teachers of music, and Secondary teachers. Others were focused on software and the pedagogical shift required to teach online and with digital technology.
As always, the main way teachers find out about these is through Musicnet.
It is always wonderful to see the supporters and practitioners of the Arts being recognised for their services and dedication in the Queen’s Birthday Honors Lists. In 2020 this included:
Sir Derek Lardalli - knighted for his services to Maori art
Taika Waititi, for his services to film
Judith Darragh, for services to the arts
Dr Maureen Lander, for services to Māori art
Richard Rudd, for services to ceramic arts
Dawn Elliott, for services to art education.
If you have not yet watched the The 'Bob Ross' of Māori carving, do so - he is an overnight streaming sensation, taken by surprise as his followers rapidly reached over 660,000.
For those teaching Visual Arts in the New Zealand Secondary sector, this year the verification of the Levels 1 and 2 NCEA folios has been waived and submission dates extended where possible, to partly compensate for the period of remote learning.
A webinar is available with Professor Peter O’Connor about the UNESCO-sanctioned project Te Rito Toi, which positions the arts at the centre of children’s return to schooling after disaster and crises.
The HeART of the Matter, a New Zealand documentary by Luit Bieringa, looks back to a time when we had strong support for the arts in schools.
Digital billboards have become more ‘immersive’ than ever. Try crashing waves - from Seou, where they seem to be a growing and booming business.
Is New Zealand ‘losing its ability to tell its story to future generations through the cuts affecting documentary photographers? This question is posed in this RNZ article ‘The end of history’
The Aotearoa New Zealand Association of Art Educators 2020 conference that was scheduled to take place this April has been postponed until April 2021 in response to Covid restrictions.
Last week there was discussion between Barbara Ormond and myself (representing the NZAHTA committee) and Caroline Vercoe and Ngarino Ellis from Auckland University’s Art History department. We talked about the possibility of offering some PLD to teachers this year as well as holding our annual Scholarship workshop day for students. At this stage, planning is in the draft stages, but it is envisaged that both of these events could be held online so that all art history teachers and students could attend. Dates are yet to be decided ]but we are looking at mid to late Term 3 or early Term 4. Arthistorynet will post further details later on this term.
Features (including a video pick and an article of interest) How to recognize Italian Renaissance art
A brief, very useful 10 minute video introduction to Italian Renaissance art by Dr. Beth Harris and Dr. Steven Zucker from Smarthistory, covering key elements of the Renaissance style, imagery and context.
How Britains Shocking Art Movement Got Its Start
Before the late 1980s, only a handful of contemporary British artists had made it into the mainstream. This article shows that that all changed in 1988 when 16 students from London’s Goldsmiths College, led by Damien Hirst, staged their exhibition Freeze – the show that became the nucleus of the BritArt movement.
Area 3 Piet Mondrian – Painting as an Expression of the Universal "What do I want to express with my work? Nothing different from what every artist is looking for: achieving harmony through the balance of relationships between lines, colors and surfaces. Only in a sharper and stronger way."
Research/professional readings The Most Iconic Artists of All Time
This introductory series covers artists that paved the way, pushed or altered the aesthetic standards and conceptual boundaries of art since the Renaissance. Art History Timeline – Western Art Movements and Their Impact
Since prehistoric times and the emergence of cave art, a plethora of art movements have followed, each bearing their own distinct styles and characteristics that reflect the political and social influences of the period from which they emerged. What the back of a painting reveals about its history
Learn the process that specialists take to examine a work of art, and what labels, markings, and other notations on the reverse of artworks actually mean. What is Abstract Art?
Abstract art—also commonly referred to as non-objective art—is painting, sculpture, or graphic art that does not attempt to represent an accurate depiction of visual reality. By definition, to “abstract” means to “extract or remove” one thing from another.
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