Facebook Twitter

Special Teaching Resources in the Arts (Spectra)

Image from SpectraFest at Westwood

Our goal is to make the arts an essential part of every student’s education.  

SPECTRA artists represent some of Tuscaloosa’s best.  These artists are highly skilled professionals selected not only for artistic excellence, but also for the ability to communicate effectively with young people.  For students, a tremendous variety of in-school arts activities allow student involvement in visual arts, music, and acting.  Concerts, demonstrations and other activities are also available both in-school and on site throughout the community.

The In-School Concert/Demonstrations and Plays for Children offer a careful balance of performance and instruction.  Space needs are flexible.  Program lengths vary from 30 to 50 minutes, depending on the program and audience age.  Some experiences are offered in workshop format only, in which a classroom size group works closely with an artist and has the opportunity to participate more effectively in the artistic process.  Maximum class size has been established to assure successful involvement of all students.  

Teachers must remain with students for the duration of all activities. Prices for each event vary and are listed with each program description.  When maximum numbers are exceeded, the program fee may increase.  Federal Mileage Rates may apply for some programs.

Programs are scheduled subject to the availability of the artists.  To schedule a program, contact Sharron Rudowski, Director of Educational Programs, at 205-345-9801 or by email at education@tuscarts.org.  It will be helpful to have your school’s calendar, daily schedule and enrollment figures when calling.  A confirmation/invoice will be sent after scheduling.  

All scheduled and confirmed programs are considered binding.  Two weeks’ notice must be given by the school if the program is to be rescheduled.  Should illness, inclement weather or other unforeseen circumstances prevent the artist from performing, SPECTRA will offer the school the option to reschedule or receive a full refund.

VISUAL ART AND CRAFT

1  BOOK ARTS FOR KIDS
An exploration of the book as an art object.  A brief history of handmade books will be presented, with an emphasis on bookbinding.  Students will be instructed on how to create books out of paper, thread, glue and card stock, then they will write and illustrate their own book.  Up to 60 minutes.  GRADES: 1-8    FEE: $80   SUPPLIES:  $2 per student

2  INDIAN CRAFTS
Students can create their own dream catcher and weave a talking feather while learning the folklore behind the craft through storytelling as well as hands-on experience.  The University of Alabama Museums lead this hands-on experience.  Designed for small groups (30 or fewer).  
Three hour project.  GRADES:  4-6    FEE:  $100  
SUPPLIES:  $2 per child

3  NATIVE AMERICAN POTTERY
Two part class - Session 1 (2 hours): Overview of Southeastern Indian pottery, how to hand build and decorate a pot and make an “animal effigy.” Pottery is taken away to be fired.    Session 2 (1 hour): Fired pottery is brought back to the class for students to paint with acrylic paints then seal.  Designed for small groups (30 or less) but can accommodate up to two separate classes at the same school per day.  GRADES:  3-6    FEE:  $100  SUPPLIES:  $2 per child / Federal mileage rate applies for distances longer than 100 miles round trip.

4  BASKETRY
Students learn about Native American baskets, examining a wide variety.  Stories told about Grandmother Spider and how she brought weaving to native people.  Each child then weaves a small basket and attaches a leather strap.  2 – 3 hours. GRADES:  4-6    FEE:  $150 SUPPLIES:  $3 per child / Federal mileage rate applies for distances longer than 100 miles round trip.

5  ORIGAMI PAPER ART
Children are taught the Japanese art of paper folding.  Satoko Seale, retired from the UA Japan Culture and Information Center, presents this program.  30-minute lesson planned for small groups (30 or fewer).   GRADES:  1-6    FEE:  1st Session $50 / 2nd Session – Same day at same school - $35 / Federal mileage rate applies    
SUPPLIES:  $1 per child

6  PAPERMAKING
Students will make their own paper from old jeans, t-shirts and various plants and will have the option of embedding their paper with seeds to plant.  Presented by Claire Siepser of the Alabama Art Kitchen.  One hour.  Grades: K - 5   Fee: $75 / Federal mileage rate
applies    Supplies:  50¢ per student

7  FACE JUGS FOR LITTLE FOLKS
In the traditional style of Southern folk potters, children will love sculpting faces on pre-made mini-face jugs.  
Presented by Kerry Kennedy.  GRADES:  K-6    
FEE:  $8 per child

8  GOURD MASKS
Students learn why certain masks were important to Native Americans with a variety of gourd masks displayed for reference. Precut gourds are available to make similar projects. Each student picks the mask they will make, cleans and prepares the gourd and decorates their mask.  Designed for small groups (30 or less) but can do up to two separate classes at the same school per day.  1.5 - 2 hours.   GRADES:  2-6    FEE:  $100 instructor fee  
SUPPLIES:  $4 per child / Fees include mileage for a 50 mile radius.  Federal mileage rate applies for distances longer than 100 miles round trip.

9  GLASS BEAD-MAKING DEMO
The art of bead-making, also known as lampworking,  will be traced back to its origins while demonstrating the complexities and creative potential of ornamental bead and glass design.  Refer to www.setinglass.com.  
GRADES:  K - 8   FEE:  $125 per day for multiple
demonstrations or $55 for a single class demonstration

10  MOSAICS
Explore the exciting and fun art of mosaics.  Students will learn about the different types of materials and tools used to make mosaics.  A mosaic piece will be created for your school to display after the demonstration.   
GRADES:  K - 6   FEE:  $200 per demonstration day plus supplies

11  PATCHWORK HISTORY MOSAICS
Students learn about the historical Quilters of Gee’s Bend, AL, the elements of design and the art of stained glass mosaics in an arts/social studies integrated program with DANA Teaching Artist, Linda Muñoz.  Students make a stained glass mosaic quilt to hang in their school.  Fee: (Includes supplies) 1 Day Program
(1 hour): $225 - students will make a small quilt panel (24inches x 24 inches); 2 Day Program (1 hour each day): students will make a larger quilt panel (36 inches x 36 inches): $425; 3 Day Program (1 hour each day): students will make the larger quilt and will grout it: $600

12 DESIGNING A BIRDHOUSE GOURD
Students will create a fun, colorful temporary gourd home for migrating birds.   Missy Miles will lead the class in painting techniques, lessons on composition/scale,  and the interesting history of the gourd.  grades: 1-6    
FEE:  $75   SUPPLIES:  $4 per student / Federal mileage rate applies

13  RAKU (new program)
The 500 year old Japanese method of rapid firing pottery. Watch as the colors come to life when the pottery is removed from the hot kiln. Daniel Livingston will demonstrate the process and explain how the firing works.  The demonstration must be done outdoors.  GRADES: K-12  FEE: $75 for a single demonstration (approx. 90 min.) $200 per day (up to 3 demonstrations)

MUSIC AND DANCE

14  GET RHYTHM!®
An interactive rhythm program with award winning master teaching artist, John Scalici, this program puts a drum in the hands of every student as they learn about respect, communication and teamwork through rhythm. Emphasis on the Djembe (West African drum), its meanings and its worldwide impact on music and society.   GRADES:  3-8    FEE: $600 for Full Day Program = all classes by rotation (artist prefers maximum of 50). Sessions are 45 min each.
Fees are all inclusive.

15  A BLAST OF BRASS
A fun-filled 45-minute program designed to introduce students to the brass family of the symphony orchestra.  This narrated program is presented by the Tuscaloosa Symphony Brass Quintet.  Designed for audiences up to 500.  GRADES:  K-6    FEE:  $275

16  SINGING FROM BACH TO ROCK
A varied program by Shelton State Community College singers demonstrates unique vocal styles that can be heard from classical arias to Broadway and pop styles.  
GRADES:  K-6    FEE:  NO FEE

17  IT’S A STRING THING!
This fun, hour-long program introduces students to the string instruments in a relatable format while giving an exciting overview of the periods of classical music through the genre of the string quartet.  Students will have a chance to play instruments.  Presented by members of the UA Student ASTA chapter.  30 or fewer.
GRADES:  K-5   FEE:  $55

18  SYMPHONIC PETTING ZOO
Children will receive hands-on experience with a variety of symphonic instruments such as violin, trumpet, flute, etc. from the Tuscaloosa Symphony Guild.  Limited to 30 students per half-hour.  GRADES:  3 - 5    FEE:  no fee

19  WHAT IS JAZZ?
A fun look into jazz through performance and interaction between students and musicians.  Jazz is put into context for students then introduced to the jazz style, repertoire and history.  Presented by faculty and students in Jazz Studies at UA.   20 - 25 minutes.  GRADES:  K-6    FEE:  $175

20  DANCE THROUGH THE MUSIC
Explores movement and its development from its origins to the present.  Students participate in an interactive program that explores dance in relation to the evolution of music then create their own work.  
45 minutes; designed for groups up to 30.
GRADES:  K-5    FEE:  $80

STORYTELLING AND THEATRE

21  THE PLAY'S THE THING
The Peanutbutter & Jelly Players present a hands-on acting workshop for children to learn the basics of acting through theater games, improvisations and short scenes from adapted fairy tales and fables. Can accommodate up to 30 children. Sessions 1 hour. GRADES:  3 - 5    FEE:  $75

22 SHAKE HANDS WITH SHAKESPEARE
The Peanutbutter and Jelly Players present a friendly, hands-on introduction to the mysterious bard, in which children will explore some of the academic basics and will be involved in staging adapted scenes from the author’s best loved plays.  Can accommodate up to 30 students.  Sessions 1 hour (2 day session recommend).
GRADES:  5-8   FEE:  $100 a day

23  STORYTELLING
Some of West Alabama’s finest actors are available to tell a variety of tales or those that are appropriate to your current curriculum with advance notification. GRADES:  K-6    FEE:  $55

24  IN-SCHOOL ACTING WORKSHOPS
These workshops introduce students to the concepts of performance through theatre games and improvisation.  30 students or fewer per session; 1 to 2 hours in length (can accommodate class schedule).  GRADES:  1-12    FEE:  $55 per session

25  STAGE COMBAT
Demonstration features techniques and weapons used by stunt men to create fight scenes. Discussions include safety and the real effects of violence.  GRADES:  K - 6   FEE:  $75

For reservations for Bama Fanfare or Fanfare Caravans contact

Sharron Rudowski
Director of Educational Programs
(205) 758-4994 ext 4
send email ›