Putting the Emphasis on Process - 10 Questions with Visual Artist and Arts Integration Specialist Natalie Hyder
Duval County Public Schools (DCPS) has made a pledge to revitalize education through use of the arts. In an effort to support this goal, DCPS created the position of Arts Integration Specialist and hired artist and arts educator Natalie Hyder to serve in the role. Going into the 2017-2018 academic year, four schools in Duval County were designated as arts integration schools. Those schools include Hyde Park Elementary School, Hyde Grove Early Learning Center, John Love Early Learning Center, and Brentwood Elementary School. Within these schools, it is the mission of DCPS to facilitate a cultural shift, improve teaching and learning, and ensure the success of every student enrolled.
Hyder received her undergraduate degree in studio art and art history from Florida State University in 2008. In 2016 she completed graduate school at the University of Florida, where she studied art education. Hyder served in the classroom as an arts educator for eight years until she moved with her husband from Tallahassee to Jacksonville in the summer of 2017.
With a population of nearly 900,000 residents, it should come as no surprise that there are many different opinions on the type of city that Jacksonville, Florida should aim to be. Among the sea of opinions, however, one voice recently proclaimed thoughtful and forward thinking sentiments. That voice belongs to City Council President Anna Lopez Brosche. During her Installation Ceremony, which was held on June 29, 2017, Council President Brosche stated in simple yet bold terms that she aims for Jacksonville to be "the best city in the world for a child to grow up in."
Now the question comes, what metrics do you employ when quantifying or qualifying how well a city serves its youth population? Sherrod Brown, Co-Founder and Director of The Posh Factory Performing Arts Center, believes without question that one such indispensable metric is a child's access to and instruction in the arts. The Posh Factory offers dance training and education in the style of ballet, jazz, modern, and hip-hop, as well as vocal and musical theatre training. The organization does not believe in turning away any child that has a passion for music, dance, or acting. Brown and his co-founding partner, Rashon Horne, raise funds to support children of low and no income families through tuition scholarships.
A Marker of Interesting Thinking - 10 Questions with Mixed-Media Visual Artist and Folio Weekly Arts and Entertainment Editor Madeleine Peck Wagner
Madeliene Peck Wagner is a mixed-media visual artist. She received a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Clark University (Worcester, Massachusetts) and a Master of Fine Arts degree from Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD)(Savannah, Georgia). Peck Wagner explores with both form and materials to create work that challenges societal norms surrounding human behavior. Her body of work examines concepts such as consumption as it relates to capitalism and imperfection as it relates to beauty.
Cathedral Arts Project is hosting an exhibition of Peck Wagner's work in the Heather Moore Community Gallery during the fourth quarter of 2017, with an opening reception scheduled to be held on October 12th. The exhibition, titled "The Labor of Learning," will feature new work by Peck Wagner, some of which the artist has dedicated the last three years to developing. In her latest series, Peck Wagner utilizes two-dimensional and three-dimensional forms to visualize an internal monologue pertaining to body composition and how our mental perceptions are sometimes exaggerated forms of reality. Her series illustrates that the concept of beauty is subjective to the beholder and that there is no textbook definition of allurement.
Toni Smailagic of Cre8Jax was our event photographer for State of the Arts 2017. As always, Toni exceeded expectations. He did an excellent job capturing moments from throughout the day. Again, thank you to all of our sponsors, event partners, and everyone who attended State of the Arts 2017.
Located at 112 E Adams Street, The 5 & Dime is a nonprofit theatre company that opens its doors to artists of all disciplines whose passions, skills, drive, and enthusiasm need a place to call home. The theatre was founded by a group of artists and friends in 2011 who came together with a common goal of developing Jacksonville's arts and culture community, with the specific intention of seeing theatre productions within the urban core. Advocating for change and then actually defining an approach to achieve that change can feel overwhelming. This may be one of the reasons why individuals adopt an apathetic attitude, one that is echoed by sentiments such as "it is what it is." Instead of accepting things as they were, when questioning who could serve as agents of change, the 5 & Dime's founding group thought "Why not us?". With that belief in mind, they sought ways to harness their talents to enrich life in Northeast Florida.
Initially nomadic out of necessity, The 5 & Dime dedicated the first five years of operations to building their brand while keeping their overhead low. They partnered with various hosting venues when bringing their productions to life. In February 2017 the company scaled its operations and found a stable home in Jacksonville's urban core. They now reciprocate to the creative community the same hospitality that they were previously shown by opening the doors to their 80-seat theater and lobby gallery to artists looking for a place to host performances and exhibitions.
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