Music & Art

Angels Gate Cultural Center’s Education Program Artist in the Classroom (AIC) at N.E.W. Academy Canoga Park

Angel's Gate Flyer

The core of Angels Gate Cultural Center’s education programming is the Artists-in-Classroom (AIC) program, which places professional Artists in classrooms throughout the Harbor Region to provide enriched, process-based education in the visual and performing arts to students K-12. Angels Gate works closely with our Principals, school administrators, classroom teachers, and Artist-Teachers to provide students with a sustained, in-depth arts experience. These residencies take place over the course of 12 weeks during the Fall or Spring semester and offer arts instruction that students would not normally not receive as part of the scope and sequence of their regular instructional program. Our 12-week arts residencies are designed to promote creativity, cross-disciplinary knowledge, and critical thinking skills in accordance with California Visual and Performing Arts standards, and familiarize students with contemporary arts practices.

All of our Artist-Teachers are professional artists with several years of education experience. These teachers create an exciting atmosphere and encourage creativity by sharing artworks from a range of cultures, introducing arts vocabulary, and demonstrating fine arts concepts. A primary focus of the AIC program is teaching students about the creative process; students learn that art doesn’t have to be completed in one sitting, but that it can be added to and developed to create many layers over time. Our Artist-Teachers are encouraged to bring their own artistic processes and interests into the classroom. In this way, our elementary students come to understand how artists work and how contemporary arts are created.

Angels Gate specializes in 3rd grade Visual Arts and 5th grade Creative Writing. During these residencies, AIC teachers relate artistic ideas to other disciplines and work closely with students on several projects to increase their visual and verbal literacy. In creative writing, students learn about metaphors, write their own 6-Word Memoirs, and explore Japanese Haiku. At the end of the 12-week residency, students create artist-books from paper bags, decorating them to hold their completed poetry collection. In visual arts, students learn about the Elements of Art: lines and shapes, color, balance, and symmetry. Our artist-teachers lead layered and complex arts experiences, engaging students in the process and helping them to be self-initiating, and working in pairs collaboratively. They encourage self-expression and personal innovation.

An important component of the AIC program is classroom teacher participation; we believe that when a classroom teacher is engaged in the arts alongside their students, a creative environment is built, and students and teachers see one another in new ways.

Reflection is another important component of the artistic process of Artists-in-Classrooms. All of our artist-teachers encourage students to reflect upon their artwork and share their thoughts with the class. The process of reflecting helps students expand their vocabulary and express what they have learned throughout the session.

The impact of our program does not end in the classrooms, but is seen throughout the school—bulletin boards are filled with student art, and an end-of-semester culmination event allowed all classes to work together to showcase their art to share among their peers and with parents. Each semester, selected pieces of artwork and poetry are displayed in the galleries at AGCC.

Artists-in-Classrooms has been serving schools in the Los Angeles Harbor Region since 1999. During the 2017-18 school year, 3,600 students in 134 classrooms received over 50,000 hours of arts instruction through our program.

Information from: https://www.angelsgateart.org/arts-education/

Each classroom will receive one hour of instruction time each week. This year’s programs will include:

Dance - The instructor uses games, stories, and songs to teach balance, rhythm, movement, coordination, along with introductory steps to Tap, Jazz and Ballet. Dance is an exploration of style and presentation. Classes emphasize musicality and body alignment, conditioning, stretch and strengthening, rhythm and stylization as well as fun and innovative choreography.

Musical Theater - Classes that give each child the chance to perform in an abridged musical. Each day is filled with acting, blocking, dancing and singing in preparation for a final show.

Recorders - Recorders in Schools offers weekly musical skill building. In partnership with classroom teachers who extend music making throughout the week, Recorders in Schools Teaching Artists guide students in learning music notation and ensemble performance.

Creative Writing – In creative writing, students learn about metaphors, write their own 6-Word Memoirs, and explore Japanese Haiku, just to name a few projects. At the end of the 12-week residency, students create culminating projects to hold their completed poetry collection.

Percussion – This program teaches fine motor skills through rhythmic exercises. The students will use hand percussion and large drums to focus on collaborative listening skills and partner work. These lessons will start at the most simple rhythms and grow sequentially through the residency.

Visual Arts

Through our partnership with the Canoga Park Arts Center, N.E.W Academy Canoga Park is delighted to have a highly qualified visual arts instructor, Ms. Donna, that works directly with our students to enhance their creativity, visual arts skills and historical arts study. Students meet with Ms. Donna at least six times throughout the school year and also do walking field trips to the local Canoga Park Arts Center.

Art Educator

Ms. Donna Zanella

Ms. Donna Zanella

Donna Zanella has been working with NEW Academy Canoga Park since 2009 and hails from our local community Art Center in Canoga Park. She holds an AAS in Advertising and received her BFA and MFA from Cal Arts. She has been an art teacher for over 20 years and also teachers for the city of LA Department of Cultural Affairs at the Canoga Park Youth Art Center. The art curriculum is inspired by major artists from art history and lessons include information about world history, various art movements and language skills to enhance students’ greater understanding of the arts and their impact. Her ‘non-directed’ projects allow students to explore their own creative voices while giving them the tools to successfully realize their visions.