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January 24, 2017

Philly schools win 2017 Picasso Project grants for claymation video, 'The Wiz,' immigrant storytelling

Education Arts
01242017_Picasso_Project_PCCY Source/


Fifteen Philadelphia public schools have been awarded grants to help students become creative thinkers and better students.

Public Citizens for Children and Youth, a Philadelphia organization, awards Picasso Project grants of up to $5,000 to schools annually to fund projects in the creative, performing and digital arts. PCCY's mission is to develop initiatives to improve the lives of the region's children and advocate for quality health care, child care, public education and family stability.

Since the Picasso Project launched in 2002, more than 34,000 children have experienced innovative arts projects through its grants.

On Tuesday, the 2017 Picasso recipients were named:

John Bartram High School

Bartram Arts Through Gardens

A theater arts project centered around the life and work of George Washington Carver, influential African-American agricultural leader integrating the arts with Bartram's thriving gardening program, students will explore Carver's legacy through dramatic musical performance, rap and video.

Partners: Bartram's Garden, Women Against Abuse, Mighty Writers

Stephen Decatur Elementary School

Living Mural & Garden

Decatur students will create a mixed media indoor mural as well as a "Living Painting" outdoor garden, around the theme of "Indigenous Life and Waterways of Northeast Philadelphia." The mural will depict a scene from the woods of the Poquessing Creek, including indigenous wildlife.

Partners: Stephen Wasielewski, Trustees of the Lower Dublin Academy

Thomas Finletter Academics Plus School

The Eagles Nest at Finletter

Students will create an immersive outdoor art park, featuring sculptural elements, edible gardens and reading benches. The project will transform an empty concrete space into a sensory-rich area where students can learn, grow and be inspired.

Partners: Fresh artists, Primex Garden Center, Pennsylvania Horticultural Society

Eugenio Maria de Hostos Charter School

Tying It Together: Drum Corps

Hostos will team with Musicopia to form a drum corps which will perform for the community at a culminating event, as well as YouTube performances and an Arts Rally in their neighborhood. An assessment of Corps' progress will be provided by Wolf Brown & Associates, through their nationally calibrated beginning band measures.

Partner: Musicopia

Albert M. Greenfield Elementary

Narrative as Soft Sculpture

Fifth- and 8th-grade students will explore narrative and storytelling through printmaking and textile arts with Philadelphia-based artist Sinead Cahill, in collaboration with the Fabric Workshop + Museum. Greenfield arts and literacy teachers will work together to explore the relationship between standards-based arts and ELA content. Culminates with three student-led installations.

Partners: Fleisher Art Memorial, Fabric Workshop + Museum

Henry H. Houston Elementary School

Keep the Art, Lose the Violence

Students will create a claymation video short focused on an anti-violence theme, reflecting on the personal and societal consequences of violence. This arts-integrated project will incorporate several disciplines, including English writing and spelling, social studies, math, and technology.

Partner: The Clay Studio

Andrew Jackson School

Roots, Rhymes, & Rhythm

Jackson students will explore hand drumming practices and poetry from around the world, while simultaneously building literacy skills. Students will create, perform and record original spoken word pieces with rhythmic accompaniment, which explore their cultural histories and their hopes for the future.

Partners: COSACOSA Art at large Inc., Melody Vision, Passyunk Square Civic Association

Eliza Butler Kirkbride School

American Dreams

Eighth-grade students will collect and explore connections among immigrant stories from their families, their school and their neighborhood. Students will be challenged to envision, create, and promote a major project that will require a variety of literacy, art-making and technical skills. Students will devise new ways to tell old tales while creating cross-cultural connections through multiple artistic disciplines – creative writing, audio art and ceramic/mosaic art.

Partners: CosaCosa Art at Large Inc., Passyunk Square Civic Association

James Lowell Elementary School

Giggles and Slam, Poetry Jam

Through this poetry & percussion residency, students will explore the power of rhythms and words, and explore their interconnectedness. When these tools are combined, the power to tell a story and express yourself becomes art. Students will learn how to play and compose "rhythm poems," which will be performed for the school community.

Partners: Young Audiences New Jersey & Eastern Pennsylvania

Isaac A. Sheppard School

Celebrations in Art!

Students will create paper mache carnival masks in the style of the Puerto Rican Festival de San Sebastian, as well as paper mosaic tiles that will be installed permanently at the school to be enjoyed for years to come. Students will use their carnival mask in a musical performance in the Spring as well as be displayed in a culminating Art Show.

Partner: Taller Puertorriqueno

South Philadelphia High School

SPHC Music & Theatre: The Wiz

Choral students will prepare and perform the musical "The Wiz" for the South Philadelphia community. Students will come together to create and perform a work that has special meaning and direct themes related to the experiences of the students of SPHS. In addition to the performance, students will learn what it takes to succeed as a team in a project that requires accountability and discipline resulting in a school-wide success.

Partner: Curtis School of Music

John B. Stetson Charter School

Printing Our Identity

Stetson students and staff will highlight their uniqueness through an in-depth exploration of multifaceted printmaking processes. Capturing the identity of a group of individuals provides information about the larger community of the school, and fosters positive peer culture. The project will culminate in a large mural on canvas made from a selection of prints representing each student and participant.

Partner: Taller Puertorriqueno

Tacony Academy Charter High School

Tiling Tacony

The school will gain a beautiful mosaic mural in the library that represents a theme in line with Tacony Academy's school philosophy. The students will get the opportunity to be involved in a large scale, collaborative project which will be displayed in their school for years to come. They will view artwork, use critical-thinking skills and collaboration to come up with unique ideas, and gain new artistic skills.

Partner: Lynn Denton

John H. Taggart Elementary School

Jasper Quartet at Taggart

The Jasper String Quartet will work closely with Taggart Elementary's staff and students to collaboratively create and perform a unique musical composition. The piece will be created in response to a book from the 4th grade curriculum, integrating literacy with instrumental music education.

Partner: Jasper Quartet

The U School

Re(New) You Fashion Lab

U School students will team up with students from Moore College of Art & Design to create unique outfits, from recycled materials sourced from RAIR (Recycled Artist in Residency). Students will go through a design process from brainstorming, to drawing, to execution. The project will culminate with a fashion show/performance at the U School as well as a photo shoot at the RAIR site.

Partner: The Galleries at Moore College of Art & Design