storyline

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MISSION… The mission of the STORYLINE Project is to engage Windham students with the arts through storytelling & drawing projects led by artists and librarians, and to promote creative problem-solving and critical thinking in all aspects of their education.

 

PREMISE… The STORYLINE Project is a partnership between educators, artists, librarians, Main Street business people, local schoolchildren, Eastern Connecticut State University and by extension the entire community of Windham. Kerri Gallery & Art Studio is the venue for local children to experience arts education in a new and exciting way.


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Elementary school students are given the opportunity to tell stories by making art. As a result they gain first-hand experience in the flexible thinking, risk-taking and creative problem-solving needed to face today’s - and tomorrow’s - most complex and pressing challenges.Today’s third-graders will become adults in a world we can hardly imagine. To succeed in that world, to thrive in fields that don’t exist yet, they must learn to be innovative, creative, imaginative and confident. Arts education like the STORYLINE project encourages students to embrace the experimentation and exploration they will need to succeed in the future.

HISTORY… On November 26th, 2012, thirty North Windham Elementary third-graders took part in the first day of the STORYLINE project. Teacher Lynn Frazier brought her class to Kerri Gallery to hear award-winning children’s author & illustrator Normand Chartier discuss his work and watch him demonstrate the craft of illustrating and storytelling.

The students, all but one of whom were visiting an art gallery for the first time in their lives, also had a tour of the current show on display and met the resident artists. Then the children walked a block to the Willimantic Public Library and went to work telling their own stories. With supplies provided through donations, and expertise lent by author/illustrator Barbara McClintock along with Willimantic librarians Gail Zeiba and Kate Hardisty, the young artists applied the lessons from their earlier talk to their own rough drafts.


After getting feedback and refining their drawings, they created works that went on display at Kerri Gallery beginning with an opening on Dec. 18th. Amidst a real art gallery setting complete with appetizers and live music, students showed off their creations to family and friends. In April 2013, two other North Windham 3rd grade classes followed in their steps.  3rd graders from Natchaug Elementary had their turn the following autumn, with an opening in January 2014. Art work from STORYLINE then went on display in Windham Town Hall and will eventually travel to the Legislative Office Building in Hartford.


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Display1 OBJECTIVES… In the future, with the help of grants and private donations, STORYLINE hopes to expand upon its propitious beginnings by promoting the incorporation of arts education into the rest of the curriculum. The STORYLINE Project is fundamentally about preparing young learners for both their remaining school years and their futures as successful adults.