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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.

Connecting artists to classrooms with these easy steps:

  • Read policies then select the art activities or performances based on your classroom or curriculum needs.Read policies then select the art activities or performances based on your classroom or curriculum needs.
  • Calculate the total cost for the program (including classroom size and/or mileage if noted).
  • Secure approval from your administrator or principal.
  • Email  education@tuscarts.org or call Sharron Rudowski, Education Director,  at       205-345-9801 with the name of your selected activity, preferred date and time and number of students participating.

Policies

SPECTRA artists are highly skilled professionals selected not only for artistic excellence, but also for the ability to communicate effectively with young people.

  • Concerts, demonstrations and other activities are also available both in-school and on site throughout the community.
  • Our artists adapt to your space
  • Space needs are flexible
  • Program lengths vary from 30 to 50 minutes
  • Some programs offered in workshop format only, which involves a classroom-size group


Keep in mind...

  • 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. 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.  


What if I have to cancel?

  • 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, The Arts Council will offer the school the option to reschedule or receive a full refund.

 

Literary Arts

1  THE AUTHOR IN YOU
Everyone has stories to share!  Learn basic tips about fiction writing from a published adult and children’s author.  Plot development, dialogue, characterization, point of view--these are several of the building blocks needed to create a successful story.  This presentation can be tailored appropriately for varying grades and skill levels.  GRADES: 3-12   FEE: No fee

2  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 

 

Music

3  ALABAMA BLUES PROJECT
History comes alive through music. The history of the Blues is presented highlighting important time periods in Alabama History. This 45 minute interactive program entertains and educates up to 500 students. GRADES: K-12  FEE: $250

4  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

5  SINGING FROM BACH TO ROCK
A varied program by Shelton State Community College singers presents a varied program of songs and arias. Fridays only.
GRADES: K-8 during October, November, February and March; 9-12 during January and February  FEE: no fee

6  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

7  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

8  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. 25 - 50 minutes.  GRADES: K-6    FEE: $175

 

Dance and Theatre

9  ART OF DANCE
Students will explore the art of dance by taking your choice of either a jazz or musical theater style class. Class will consist of movement stretches and learning a fun combination taught by Alden Phillips, a native of Tuscaloosa and current artistic director for Tuscaloosa Community Dancers Nutcracker. 45-60 minutes, designed for groups up to 30. GRADES: K-12  FEE: $75-$100

10  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

11  STAGE COMBAT
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

12  THEATRE UAB CABARET: “The Musical World of Disney”
This medley of Disney favorites features timeless tunes from Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah and Lavender Blue to Under the Sea, Beauty and the Beast, and Hakuna Matata.  The program culminates in show stopping numbers from Frozen and Disney’s newest hit, Moana. (Directed by Valerie Accetta; Musical Direction by Carolyn Violi)
Approximately 40 minutes. Fridays only.  GRADES: All Grade Levels  FEE: Jefferson County: $150; Bibb, Shelby, St. Clair, Blount, Cullman, Walker & Tuscaloosa Counties: $200 + Federal mileage rate; All Other Counties: $250 + Federal mileage rate

13  THEATRE UAB BOOKENDS: “The Emperor’s New Clothes”
A wily quartet of traveling players find themselves well suited to perform this amusing adaptation of the Hans Christian Anderson classic. When tailors Bellyache & Spiderweb trick a vain, gullible Emperor into believing their “magic” invisible cloth can distinguish the competent from incompetent, the court and townsfolk are quick to maintain the charade for fear of appearing inept. At the big reveal, who will utter the truth about the Emperor’s new clothes? (Adapted by Lee Shacklefor and Directed by Jack Cannon). App. 45 minutes. Fridays Only.  GRADES: K-6  FEES: Jefferson County: $150; Bibb, Shelby, St. Clair, Blount, Cullman, Walker & Tuscaloosa Counties: $200 + Federal mileage rate; All Other Counties: $250 + Federal mileage rate

14  THEATRE UAB SHAKESPEARE COMPANY: “The Taming of the Shrew,” Abridged
Our Shakespeare Company presents the hysterical highlights of this quintessential battle of the sexes, only this time the roles are reversed! Petruchia’s goal is to marry well, even if it means taming the impossibly crass Katarino, who refuses to be ensnared.  In a hilarious stand-off, Petruchia finds her intended almost too much to handle, and in the process learns a thing or two about herself. Brimming with slapstick and witty turns of phrase, our version of the Bard’s comedy explores new relationship dynamics with side-splitting results. (Adapted and Directed by Dennis McLernon). App. 50 minutes. Fridays Only.  GRADES: High School  FEES: Jefferson County: $150; Bibb, Shelby, St. Clair, Blount, Cullman, Walker & Tuscaloosa Counties: $200 + Federal mileage rate; All Other Counties: $250 + Federal mileage rate

15  THEATRE UAB AUDITION WORKSHOP
Auditioning is a necessary but often daunting part of the actor’s life. In this new program specifically designed for high school drama programs, our advanced UAB theatre students will lead a fun, structured workshop that will help prepare your students for the audition process by coaching monologues, offering age-appropriate monologue suggestions and providing valuable handouts that detail the “do’s” and “don’ts” for a successful audition. App. 50 minutes. Fridays Only.  GRADES: High Schools  FEES: Jefferson County: $150; Bibb, Shelby, St. Clair, Blount, Cullman, Walker & Tuscaloosa Counties: $200 + Federal mileage rate; All Other Counties: $250 + Federal mileage rate

Visual Art and Craft

16  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, they will then write and illustrate their own book. Designed for small groups (30 or fewer).  Up to 60 minutes.  GRADES: 1-8  FEE: $80 / Federal mileage rate may apply. SUPPLIES: $2 per student 

Classes with artist Ruth Jatib O’Connor
(17 - 20 A/B) Classes can be modified to fit any age.

17  DAVinci Sketchbooks:
Students will learn about the Renaissance man, Leonardo DaVinci, his many talents and how he became many things, from mathematician and inventor to engineer and architect. Students will then see the connections between these subjects and how drawing can inform many fields. They will draw, make their own inventions, solve problems and create sketchbooks. Interdisciplinary Unit. 2 day lesson, 1 hour each. FEE: $150 plus $2 per student for materials

18  Musical Collages
Students will learn about artist Henri Matisse and his methods then make their own musically inspired collages in his style. This lesson connects music notes with visual elements and breaks down simple vocabulary terms that connect the two art forms. Kinesthetic movement involved. Interdisciplinary Unit. 2 hours (can be done in 2 one-hour lessons).  FEE: $150 plus $2 per student for materials

19  Animals, Animals, Animals
Inspired by Eric Carle, students will learn how to look at animals and make them out of simple shapes. This lesson starts with reading one of Eric Carle’s books and taking a closer look at his artwork. Students will learn about the color wheel and vocabulary words associated with a basic understanding of color theory then make their own colored paper before the cutting of shapes begins. 2 day lesson.  FEE: $150 plus $2 per student for materials

20  Bringing the Art Museum to the Classroom
These two lessons are aimed at exposing children to the visual fine arts and how to respond to artwork beyond “I like it” or “I don’t like it.” This helps their eyes to see, their minds to think critically and their mouths to speak with a more appropriate vocabulary. They do not produce an art “product” but will learn critical thinking skills. No supply fees apply.

A. Critical Response: Surrounded by large image reproductions of famous art works, students will explore important questions and distinctions about art. Through interactive play, students learn to evaluate art with different criteria, differentiate between preference and judgement and respect differences of opinion about art. For older groups, a writing exercise can be applied. 1 hour. FEE: $75

B. Fabulous Four: Students will learn about four famous artists and how to differentiate their distinct styles. This introduction to painting techniques, styles and subject matter will help develop their art vocabulary and encourage a wide range of ways to classify art. Interactive lesson and group discussion based. Lesson can be modified to introduce any media: painting, sculpture, photography, etc. 1 hour. FEE: $75

21  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

22  NATIVE AMERICAN POTTERY
 Two part class - Session 1 (2 hours): Overview of Southeastern Indian pottery and how to hand build and decorate a pot. 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: Target audience is grades 3-6 but can accommodate other classes.  FEE: $100 per class +Federal mileage rate will apply.  SUPPLIES: $3 per child

23  GOURD MASKS
Students learn why certain masks were important to Native Americans with a variety of gourd masks displayed for reference. Gourds are available to make similar projects. Each student picks the gourd they will make, and prepares the gourd and decorates it. 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: Target audience  is grades 2-6 but can accommodate other classes.  FEE: $100 per class +Federal mileage rate will apply.  SUPPLIES: $5 per child

24  ARTS, IMAGES, & ORNAMENTS
Students see images of how Mississippian and Moundville Indians looked and dressed. Your students will then have their faces painted like a Mississippian and Moundville Indian and make themselves a shell necklace. FEE: $100 per class up to 30 or less + Federal mileage rate will be apply. We can accommodate up to two separate classes at the same school per day. SUPPLIES: $2 per child

25  ANCIENT TOOLS & WEAPONS
Students will have a hands on experience of seeing and touching ancient tools and weapons from Moundville Archaeological Park. Practice throwing spears, rabbit sticks and Atlatl. Fee: $140 per class up to 20 or less + Federal mileage rate will apply. We can accommodate up to two separate classes at the same school per day.

26  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

27  PAPERMAKING
Students will make their own paper from various materials. 1 hour.  GRADES: K-5   FEE: $80 / Federal mileage rate applies outside of Tuscaloosa County.   SUPPLIES: $2 per student

28  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.
GRADES: K-8   FEE: $155 per day for multiple demonstrations or $55 for a single class demonstration; Federal mileage rate may apply.

29  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 (24 inches 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 / Federal mileage rate may apply.

30  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 / Federal mileage rate applies.  SUPPLIES: $4 per student

31  RAKU
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)

 

Special Resources for Teachers

Tuscaloosa, Northport, and The University of Alabama offer a wealth of information, activities, and services to support local teachers in their quest for a well-rounded arts experience for their students.  All venues require reservations.

Tuscaloosa, Northport, and The University of Alabama offer a wealth of information, activities, and services to support local teachers in their quest for a well-rounded arts experience for their students. All venues require reservations.

TUSCALOOSA FEDERAL BUILDING AND COURTHOUSE
The facility features 16 (14’ x 9’) murals located on the second floor and painted by artist Caleb O’Connor.  The subject matter includes depictions of the history and industrial growth of Tuscaloosa, North Alabama and the nation.  Judicial tours are also offered.  Tours can accommodate groups up to 50. All ages. Call 345-9801 for more information or to schedule a tour.

TUSCALOOSA MUSEUM OF ART: HOME OF THE WESTERVELT COLLECTION
Come enjoy one of the most breathtaking collections of fine art in America and experience history from the heart of the Americas to the Far East in original masterpieces.  Featuring such artists and artisans as: John Singer Sargent, George Luks, Edward Potthast and Andrew Wyeth. Tours specifically geared to student groups include “Elementally Art” and “The American Spirit.” Call 205-562-5280 or email kthurman@westervelt.com or whawkins@westervelt.com for more information.

MURPHY AFRICAN-AMERICAN MUSEUM
The Murphy African-American Museum offers innovative educational programs and changing exhibits that increase the knowledge of the accomplishments and contributions of local African-Americans in Tuscaloosa and the country as a whole.  Admission is free, and donations are accepted.  Call 758-2861 to schedule a tour.

UA SCHOOL OF MUSIC
Option 1. UA large ensembles (orchestra, band, choir) will open dress rehearsals for students to gain an appreciation for many types of music and preparation of concerts.  Option 2. UA School of Music faculty, staff and/or music students (classical or jazz) share information about their career with short demonstrations in a one-hour presentation. Days/times vary. Contact Dr. Jane Weigel at 348-6741.

THE UNIVERSITY OF ALABAMA ARBORETUM
The UA Arboretum maintains plant collections for botanical education and appreciation.  It features 2.5 miles of walking trails through a mature oak/hickory forest, wildflower garden, ornamental plants, children’s garden and a tree platform utilized for educational field trips.  Field trips can be tailored to classroom needs.  For more information or to schedule a visit, call
205-553-3278 or go to arboretum.ua.edu.

KENTUCK ART MUSEUM
The nationally recognized Kentuck Art Center welcomes small school groups for prearranged tours and demonstrations with Kentuck resident artists for a fee. Students ages 6 and up. Call 205-758-1257 for information.

CHILDREN'S HANDS-ON MUSEUM
CHOM offers a wide variety of educational opportunities and programs for students, preschool-6th grade.  Resources expand the school curriculum and enrich cultural and social education.  Each visit is unique and participatory, and with teacher input, the museum staff will gear the visit toward class objectives.  Admission charged. Reservations are required.  Call CHOM at 349-4235 for information.
 
ALABAMA MUSEUM OF NATURAL HISTORY / MOUNDVILLE ARCHAEOLOGICAL PARK
 Field trips to the Alabama Museum of Natural History are tailored to fit the needs of your group.  Call 348-9473 to schedule a tour.  The 320-acre Moundville Archaeological Park features the Jones Archaeological Museum; preserves 26 prehistoric, Mississippian-era Indian Mounds; and presents the  Moundville Native American Heritage Days. To schedule a tour, call (205) 371-8732.

GALLERY TOURS
Field trips to local art galleries are available in Tuscaloosa. Call Sharron Rudowski at (205) 345-9801 to schedule visits that include informational tours.
Harrison Galleries
O’Connor Studio
Paul R. Jones Collection
Tuscaloosa Museum of Art
The Arts Council Galleries:
     Bama Theatre or Dinah Washington Cultural Arts Center
U.S. Federal Building Murals

 

For reservations for Bama Fanfare or Fanfare Caravans contact

Sharron Rudowski
Director of Educational Programs
(205) 345-9801
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