Rural Arts Collaborative Magazine

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The arts are keys to self-expression, but they also contribute to academic achievement, promote a broad range of thinking skills, develop social skills, motivate students, and support a positive school environment. 2018

Rural Arts Collaborative is a copyright of the Fayette County Cultural Trust


In 2012-2013, the foundation was laid for the Rural Arts Collaborative (RAC) Arts Education Project. After several years of being involved and working with after-school arts programs that were designed to extend the art education experience for students, it was clear that there was a need to focus on developing a project that would work alongside existing arts curriculum in the classroom. Many school districts were experiencing budget cuts and the first programs to go were the art classes. In many schools, art class went from every day to once a week. In several districts, art was offered only one semester during the academic year. But as any educator knows, the arts enhance learning abilities in math, science, and other disciplines, and are an excellent foundation for fostering and developing the learning process: The “hands-on” experience fosters the 10 primary skills that are essential for learning across the board: Creativity, Confidence, Problem Solving, Perseverance, Focus, Non-verbal Communication, Receiving Constructive Feedback, Collaboration, Dedication and Accountability (Washington Post, Strauss 2013). After a year of conversations and planning with funding from the Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation, the Rural Arts Collaborative (RAC) Arts Education Project was formed. The premise behind the RAC project approach was to recruit Teaching Artists to work in school districts in Southwestern Pennsylvania counties, with the intent to infuse a diverse arts education approach into existing curriculum, enhance social and cognitive learning for students, and contribute to sustained partnerships amongst educators, artists and students in the region, particularly in those schools which were experiencing cutbacks or entire elimination of their arts programs.


The “Teaching Artist” concept is not new, and has been very successful as an enhancement to existing arts curriculum for many years. This term applies to professional artists in all artistic fields. Teaching Artists have worked in schools and in communities for many decades. Teaching Artistry as a field really began in the 1980’s. In response to the arts education cutbacks in schools in the Reagan Administration, arts organizations began to provide services directly to schools, and artists became key deliverers of those services.

In recent years, history has shown that Teaching Artists do not become replacements for art teachers when the school budget axe falls on art programs (indeed they often become advocates for rehiring art teachers); and the professionalization of Teaching Artistry inculcates respect, more preparation and inclination to build good partnerships with school art teachers, and a greater range of ways to succeed within school culture. A formal definition of a Teaching Artist: “A Teaching Artist is a practicing professional artist with the complementary skills and sensibilities of an educator, who engages people in learning experiences in, through, and about the arts.” (Eric Booth, actor, Teaching Artist and author, 2010).

Rural Arts Collaborative is a copyright of the Fayette County Cultural Trust

WashArts Cultural and Community Center in Washington County was the original fiscal agent for the RAC, however, when they were no longer able to continue, the Fayette County Cultural Trust (FCCT) in Fayette County stepped up to the plate to continue the project. FCCT was aware that a robust artist education program contributes to creativity, problem-solving skills, and academic achievement across the disciplines. Creating and developing a program utilizing a contentrich experience albeit in the actual classroom or after-school has been a win-win for everyone, particularly the students of Fayette, Washington and Greene County school districts. Each residency is generally a full year, at minimum, a full semester, working with a lead art teacher or a team of lead teachers in those residences which prefer a crosscurricular approach. The RAC Teaching artists utilize a project based learning approach, requiring a capstone outcome in the form of a public art piece, installation, or a performance or video to create some lasting form of art that will be part of the students, school and community in some way. We have taken the RAC into northern West Virginia with several new Teaching Artist residencies in Ohio and Wetzel Counties. Again, often in rural counties, the arts programs are minimal at best, and this is an opportunity to expose students to a more robust arts education curriculum that they may not necessarily have had the opportunity to experience.

Because of their success over the years, the Fayette County Cultural Trust under the Rural Arts Collaborative hosted a RAC Spring Institute at Bentworth High School on Wednesday, 9 May 2018. This Institute shared RAC project experiences, themes, and project outcomes with school administration officials, faculty members, artists, other funders, and students. It also served as a forum for artists, teachers, principals, superintendents and local government officials to hear and share their stories of how the project has successfully impacted their students academically, socially, emotionally and in their respective communities. From teachers to artists and administrators, all of those who have participated in the project, this was a great opportunity to reflect on how the project has affected students in their ways of thinking, seeing, and being. The Fayette County Cultural Trust has been the force to build a strong home for the RAC on that original foundation, and the project continues to flourish in Southwestern Pennsylvania school districts with continuing support from the Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation, and additional funding from the Community Foundation of Fayette County, Chevron and EQT. We are ever grateful to our funders, supporters and schools for believing in this project that has made a difference for so many students in our region.


Founded in 1994 by Peter Kope and Michele de la Reza, Attack Theatre combines modern dance, original live music, and interdisciplinary art forms to present work in traditional and non-traditional spaces. The company has produced over 200 original dance performances and collaborated with notable symphony orchestras, opera and theater companies, and art museums; performing locally, nationally, and internationally. Attack Theatre connects with more than 30,000 people annually through interdependent artistic and educational programs which underscore the company’s core belief that movement is an essential part of living and learning.

Prior to founding Attack Theatre, Peter Kope and Michele de la Reza were lead dancers with Pittsburgh-based Dance Alloy and New York City’s Perks Dance Music Theatre. With Attack Theatre, they were the recipients of the Harry Schwalb Excellence in the Arts Award, the Hardie Educator of the Year, and three Pennsylvania Council on the Arts fellowships. Attack Theatre was recently honored by the Consortium of Public Education for the company’s innovative work in the field of arts education.

For more than 20 years, Attack Theatre has conducted movement-based arts education programs in school and community settings throughout Pittsburgh and beyond. Rooted in reflection, investigation, and imagination, these programs utilize movement and dance to emphasize 21st century skills that are transferable across content areas and disciplines. Each program is tailored to focus on problem solving and critical analysis skills, build interdisciplinary connections, develop communication and cooperation skills, and cultivate creativity and self-confidence.

2016 - 2017 Wylandville Elementary Washington County, Pennsylvania 2017 - 2018 Ben Franklin Fayette County, Pennsylvania 2018 – 2019 Bentworth Middle/High School Washington County, Pennsylvania

Attack Theatre has also served as a curriculum consultant for Pittsburgh Public Schools, South Fayette School District, and Burrell School District as they integrate dance into K-12 health, wellness, and physical education. The company’s passion and expertise in the field of kinesthetic learning also guided Arts Education Collaborative and Slippery Rock University in developing the first Creative Movement Endorsement at a Pennsylvania university.


Tim Thompson is Oglebay Institute’s Director of Performing Arts. He earned a BA in the Theatre from Bethany College and an MFA in Acting from West Virginia University. He spent three years working as an actor for Outdoor Drama’s Theatre West Virginia and Blue Jacket! He most recently directed Bricolage's Midnight Radio Junior at Triadelphia Middle School. “It was very rewarding to have the opportunity to work with the awesome team of 6th grade teachers and administrators at Triadelphia Middle School. The Bricolage team and teaching artists were committed to the program. They think "outside the box" and were very helpful and accommodating to the teachers.” – Tim Thompson

Danielle McCracken President of Oglebay Institute “We are so very grateful for the opportunity to bring the Rural Arts Collaborative into West Virginia. From the beginning, we have been thrilled about the possibilities of expanding our mission more deeply into the community’s Oglebay Institute serves, especially to those who face geographic and financial barriers that may hinder access to the arts. This program has allowed us to expand our roster of teaching artists, strengthen our partnerships with Ohio Valley schools, and introduce students to new art forms and cultures. As we have recently completed our first year of this program, I have been inspired hearing so much positive feedback from students, school administrators, and the artists. Their comments are a testament to the importance of the program, which has transformed the lives of all that have been involved.“ – Danielle McCracken


Jeff Carpenter Artistic Director & Founder Bricolage

Sam Turich Head of Education Bricolage

to the Midnight Radio Jr. Education Program This project-based learning program is a ten-session middle school residency for students to research and write original radio plays inspired by existing curriculum, culminating in a performance in the Midnight Radio Format.

Rural Arts Collaborative is a copyright of the Fayette County Cultural Trust


Working as a Team

Mission Bricolage’s mission is to immerse artists and audiences in adventurous theatrical experiences that foster connections and alter perceptions. Artistic Vision Bricolage envisions theater not as a passive experience, but as a vehicle for heightened involvement for artist and audience alike. Our approach encourages artists to take the creative risks necessary to create fullblooded, high-quality theatrical experiences that challenge audiences to engage in new ways, react, and express openly their opinions about our work – to have a stake in the creative discussion. The word Bricolage means “making artful use of what is at hand.” What excites us is the connection and interaction between seemingly disparate elements, and the potential for these components to resonate as one cohesive event. We use the distinctive resources of the Pittsburgh region to create theatrical experiences that stimulate a heightened sense of involvement for the audience. “What is at hand” is the city’s changing landscape, its plentiful human and material resources, and the salient political, cultural, and ethical issues we all encounter and react to each day. By combining different artistic mediums, nourishing local talent, producing provocative work, and facilitating audience engagement, Bricolage seeks to revitalize live performance for a new era.


At Bricolage, we believe that the best work is created by bringing together talented people and working collaboratively towards a goal. We strive for every person who works with Bricolage, both on stage and behind the scenes, to feel welcome and vital to the process. In the Bricolage administrative offices, each of the eight full-time staff members is given voice during planning sessions for the year. Artistically, we strive to form our creative teams from diverse local talent that represents our community. Bricolage is committed to making its programs accessible and inclusive to all. We take a non-traditional approach to creation and encourage contribution to each stage of the process. 2012 - 2018 Washington Middle/High School Washington County, Pennsylvania 2016 – 2017 Triadelphia Middle School Ohio County, West Virginia 2017 - 2018 Frazier Middle School Fayette County, Pennsylvania 2018 – 2019 Burgettstown High School Washington County, Pennsylvania Laurel Highlands Fayette County, Pennsylvania Trinity Washington County, Pennsylvania

Bricolage The goal of the residency program is to engage the students in inquiry-rich, project based learning by leading them through the process of researching, writing, rehearsing, and performing original radio plays for live audiences. The students perform all the vocal parts and provide live sound effects using Foley equipment (which they have the option of designing and constructing themselves). These plays are performed live for an audience of fellow students, teachers, administrators and, if possible, parents and the community. They may also be recorded for podcasts, or a school’s television network.

The Ten Sessions break down as follows – details of each session detailed in the full toolkit provided to participating schools Session 1 – Midnight Radio professional performance in the school followed by hands on Foley workshop

Session 2 – Team building, brainstorming, and research Session 3 – Research continues – Students pitch stories – Playwrights assign outlines – genre workshop Session 4 – Playwrights review outlines, assign first drafts, commercials – dialogue workshop Session 5 – Playwrights review first drafts – deliver notes for second draft – choose one script for each class – deliver scripts to Foley construction team Session 6 – Playwrights review second drafts – Playwrights polish drafts between sessions – Foley construction continues

Session 7 – Casting and Rehearsal of polished scripts – Foley assignments Session 8 – Rehearsal – Music/Singing/Songwriting with Musical Director Session 9 – Dress Rehearsal Session 10 – Performance Rural Arts Collaborative is a copyright of the Fayette County Cultural Trust



BACKGROUND Bricolage’s flagship program Midnight Radio, which began its programming in 2008, is a live variety show (“a radio show that’s not on the radio”) performed in regular episodes, each with a different theme and a rotating cast of characters. Every episode features radio dramas with live “Foley” sound effects, live musical accompaniment, commercial parodies, comedic news updates, game shows, musical guests, and other hilarious segments. The series pairs a nostalgic medium (1930’s style sound-studio) with a modern zeitgeist and emphasizes a sense of community among our audience by incorporating Pittsburgh-themed adaptations and sketches, in celebration of our common experiences in this city. Midnight Radio, Jr. is a “spin-off” program developed to meet the consistent demand from our audience for a family-friendly version of Midnight Radio. In July and August 2012, we presented our second successful season: two new episodes for the young and the young-at-heart children ages 6 – 14 and their parents. Following each performance was a workshop designed to teach kids how to perform their own radio drama, giving “hands-on” experience with an indelible piece of media history, while sparking their imaginations to what theater is and can do. In 2012, thanks to the support of the Benedum Foundation, Bricolage Artistic Director Jeffrey Carpenter and Producing Artistic director Tami Dixon created this residency program at Washington Middle School in Washington, PA. They piloted the first ever Midnight Radio curriculum in the Washington County School District. With the collaboration of Washington Middle School social studies teacher Erin Moore, they designed a ten-session program that engaged 129 eighth grade students to research, develop, rehearse, and perform their very own Midnight Radio show. The program provided an inquiryrich and project-based approach to core social studies’ curriculum and the Civil War in preparation for their class trip to Gettysburg, and it led to the creation and presentation of 6 new radio dramas (complete with live music and commercials about products from the period), performed by the entire 8th grade class to an audience of district students and teachers. In this way, our pilot program integrated learning with technology, and provided a robust opportunity for direct involvement with instructional programming for the entire middle school. In 2013, Jeffrey and Tami continued at Washington Middle with the help of Project Manager Sam Turich, and expanded it to include a teacher training workshop in 2014. “Bricademy” led teachers through an abbreviated four-session version of the program to familiarize them with the residency. In 2015, the program expanded again, adding the seventh grade at McGuffey Middle School, also in Washington County, PA. A growing team of teaching artists, performers, playwrights and technicians, contributed to the success of the program.


Rural Arts Collaborative is a copyright of the Fayette County Cultural Trust

Diane Adams is a seasoned artist in a multitude of media. She is an accomplished oil painter, airbrush artist, watercolor artist, and a muralist. Having worked half of her professional career as an art director, Diane designed T-shirts for Mortal Kombat, the NFL, and Andy Griffith for United American Video and has illustrated covers for the National Association for Campus Activities magazine as well as advertising for many famous entertainers. She has received numerous printers PICA awards for her graphic designs in advertising including posters for Carrot Top and other major entertainers such the Zoppe Circus while she was Advertising Art Director for the National Association for Campus Activities. Locally she also spent several years as Art Director for Stahls Hotronix in Masontown, PA, creating advertising materials for their many products; and was also employed as a graphic designer for Adam Filippo advertising agency in Pittsburgh. She is now self employed and spends most of her time painting commissioned oil and watercolor paintings and large scale indoor and outdoor murals. Diane has painted murals for The Trail Town Project in Rockwood, PA, Sprout Project in Pittsburgh for a mural in Oakdale, PA, and recently working on the largest mural yet in Myersdale, PA. The Myersdale mural is located on the back of the Somerset Trust Bank building and is being funded by the bank.

Diane Adams Diane has also painted murals for Home Depot and other commercial businesses such as restaurants, hair salons, bars, and cafes and in many residential homes for over 30 years. She has been featured in the Tribune Review, Somerset Daily American and the Observer Reporter newspapers for her mural work. The Trail Town Project was painted in the town of Rockwood along the bike trails in the Allegheny Mountains. The project was a grant funded project and was unveiled during the 250th anniversary of Pittsburgh celebration the end of September, 2009. Oakdale mural was also a grant funded mural project for Allegheny County. Another local accomplishment is her series of historic paintings of Claysville, PA which have been reproduced in print and available in galleries. She received the high honor of the Zalton Zabo watercolor award for an original sepia tone watercolor exhibited in a show in Charlotte, NC entitled the Card Game. Carrot Top once commissioned her to do an oil painting for him when she lived in Charlotte, NC and Shelly Long acquired one of her watercolor paintings titled “Man with a Chicken Bone” in a cancer fundraiser in Columbia, SC. Diane is a graduate of the Art Institute in Pittsburgh. She went on to study Impressionism in Aix en Provence, France which has greatly influenced her painting style. 2015 – 2016 Clark School Washington County, Pennsylvania 2017 - 2018 Lafayette School Uniontown Fayette County, Pennsylvania 2018 – 2019 Ringgold Washington County, Pennsylvania Trinity Washington County, Pennsylvania


Her work addresses a perspective on nature that is found within my own culture. I believe personal history is influenced by one's culture, which originates through nature. My work demonstrates how the two are deeply connected, as I have been investigating how I personally relate to my own culture through nature. I will never forget the moment when I found a single small cherry blossom tree outside my studio during my first year of study in the United States. I have never missed my country as much as I did in that moment, it triggered an intense memory of home which invoked some very strong emotions. From that experience, I have learned that a cherry blossom tree could serve as a symbol of where I come from, as well as enable me to share a very special and personal experience, as the cherry blossom is a very iconic symbol of Japanese culture. Hiromi’s paintings are created in the Japanese traditional painting technique. I import most of my painting materials, such as Japanese traditional pigments and animal based collagen glue from Japan. Most of my work is painted on wooden panels or paper, which I have used to begin creating Japanese style screens. $his method allows the imagery to help build a connection for the viewer to my culture and background in a personal way. She screens serve as a cultural barrier which is always present, yet not always noticeable, in our everyday life. Since the recent natural disaster in her home country of Japan, she has begun to yearn for the resiliency so often seen in nature. Her paintings represent her wish to exist with nature and culture in a harmonious relationship not only in my life, but also in the person she is and will become.


Hiromi Katayama 2015 – 2016 McGuffey Middle/High School Washington County, Pennsylvania 2017 – 2018 Wheeling County Day School Ohio County, West Virginia & Bentworth Middle/High School Washington County, Pennsylvania 2018 – 2019 Fort Cherry Washington County, Pennsylvania

Michael McKowen A native West Virginian, Michael’s artwork has been seen in both group and solo exhibitions and his films have been screened in numerous festivals including Vision Fest at the Tribeca Theater in NYC and the Pittsburgh Gallery Crawl. He has over 25 years of experience working as a professional designer and artisan for theater, film, and events across the country. He earned his MFA in scenic and costume design from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts and his MFA in film and television from SMU’s Meadows School of the Arts. Michael has additional training in painting and illustration from Parson’s School of Design and the School of Visual Arts (NYC). His work has been seen at the Good speed Opera, PBS, The Queen Mary’s Dark Harbor (CA), The Eclipse Theater Co., The Texas Shakespeare Festival, The Dallas Shakespeare Festival, The Jean Cocteau Repertory Theater, The Sierra Repertory Theater and numerous independent and corporate films, music videos and commercials. Michael was the video designer for the 2014 Contemporary American Theater Festival production of Uncanny Valley in Shepherdstown as well as the Off- Broadway production. As a milliner, he worked on the Broadway productions of Wicked, The Producers, Spamalot and The Boy from Oz among many others. He is an art instructor at Wheeling Jesuit University and the Curator of Exhibitions at Oglebay Institute’s Stifel Fine Arts Center in Wheeling, WV.

2017 – 2018 Magnolia High School Wetzel County, West Virginia 2018 – 2019 John Marshall High School Marshall County, West Virginia

Rural Arts Collaborative is a copyright of the Fayette County Cultural Trust


Laura Jean McLaughlin Laura Jean McLaughlin received an MFA in ceramics from West Virginia University. Laura Jean’s work has been exhibited in over one hundred galleries and museums, including the Ogden Museum of Southern Art, the Mobile Museum of Art, the Montgomery Museum of Art, the Ohio Craft Museum, the Carnegie Museum of Art, the Delf Norona Museum, the San Angelo Museum of Fine Art, the Baltimore Institute of Art and The State Museum of Pennsylvania. She is a recipient of the Maggie Milono Memorial Award from the Carnegie Museum of Art and three prestigious residencies from Kohler Company in Wisconsin.

2015 – 2016 Washington Middle/High School Washington County, Pennsylvania Park Elementary School Washington County, Pennsylvania 2017 – 2018 Frazier Middle School Fayette County, Pennsylvania

Laura Jean’s ceramic work has been featured in various periodicals, including: Germany’s New Ceramics, Korean Ceramic Art Monthly, Ceramics Monthly, Clay Times, American Style, American Craft Magazine. Her work is featured in the following books: Confrontational Ceramics, 500 Figures, 500 Teapots, 500 Bowls, 500 Cups, Poetic Expressions of Mortality. She received an NEA Grant for a project working with the Hmong refugee community at the John Michael Kohler Arts Center, a Mid-Atlantic grant for a large mosaic installation in Baltimore, as well as a Mid-Atlantic Fellowship at WVU. Laura Jean Has created over 100 collaborative mosaic murals and installation throughout the city of Pittsburgh and as far away as Tolne Denmark. She also created a large set of mosaic mural steps with the Southside community and is currently creating mosaic sculptures for Library Park at the Carnegie Library in Carnegie, PA. Her work is in the collection of the City of Pittsburgh, The Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh, Carlow College, Whole Foods Market, the Porter~Price Collection, Kohler Art Center, Kohler Company, and HBO in New York.


Rural Arts Collaborative is a copyright of the Fayette County Cultural Trust

Michelle Sophia Sabol Michelle Sophia Sabol worked in avant-garde film as an intern at Electronic Arts Intermix in New York in the late 1980's and as Technical Director and Program Coordinator at the San Francisco Cinematheque in the early 1990's. She attended the San Francisco State University Film Core program before working in commercial film production in Los Angeles. There she assisted director and cinematographer Caleb Deschanel in the start up of his company Dark Light Pictures; on various commercial productions; and as a designer for the Emmy award winning floral design company Flower Art that works exclusively with set decorators for film and television production. As a primarily self-taught jewelry artist, Michelle Sabol began working under the name Memphis George and Memphis George Jewelry was born in Los Angeles, CA in 1998. It remains a distinctly unique couture brand in the handmade studio artist movement. Memphis George Jewelry has been worn to the Oscars by award nominees and in films by stars such as Selena Gomez and Jane Lynch, among others. It is in the private collections of the former editor of W magazine, the arts and entertainment editor of the Los Angeles Times and other prominent art-to-wear collectors. Luxury gemstones are framed by flourishes of hand crafted silver, gold and ancient bronze. Eclectic elements such as plexiglas, oak roots, and decadent, genuine Swarovski crystal mingle with elaborate hand-painted surfaces. The resulting whirlwind of whimsical elegance defines the Memphis George oeuvre.

Memphis George Fine Art-to-Wear Jewelry and Gallery was an experimental pop-up gallery in the Atwater Village neighborhood of Los Angeles from 2011 to 2014. The gallery curated the work of a dozen rotating fine artists and craftspeople in addition to the jewelry of Memphis George and also served as a functioning artist studio, and teaching and performance space for musicians and poets. Currently based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Memphis George is a member of the Associated Artist of Pittsburgh, the Craftsmen's Guild of Pittsburgh and her jewelry work is represented by Gallery Chiz in the Shadyside neighborhood of the city. She was selected by the Carnegie Museum of Art to create two couture dresses for a fashion show in conjunction with the Museum’s Iris Van Herpen exhibition in 2017. As a Teaching Artist, Ms George is able to offer her vast technical knowledge, unique techniques and experience in experimental and commercial aesthetics to a new generation of creative thinkers and makers. She has received both Pennsylvania state and local grants for her Teaching Artist work. 2018 – 2019 Washington Middle/High School Washington County, Pennsylvania

Photo credit: Celeste Van Kirk

Rural Arts Collaborative is a copyright of the Fayette County Cultural Trust


James Simon grew up in the Stanton Heights neighborhood of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He won several national awards for his ceramic talents while attending Peabody High School, where he graduated from in 1972. He felt pulled to see the world and immediately hit the road -mostly hitchhiking and freight train jumping around the US and Canada. He learned carpentry and stained glass skills along the way. James hitchhiked east to west many times particularly exploring California, Oregon and the islands off the coast of British Columbia. He then went to Europe and the Middle East visiting Italy, Greece, Turkey, Iran, Pakistan, Afghanistan, and India. He lived in Australia and met the aborigines in Darwin.[ The aborigine’s ways and art had a profound influence on his life and work. In the 1980s, while traveling in England he met acclaimed Hungarian child prodigy violinist and teacher Kató Havas- and followed her to Oxford to study violin. Kato introduced him to Master Luthier Andrew Dipper.[ James learned how to make violins and varnishes from Dipper and finesse his skills in sculpture and carving. James met Alvaro Escalante through Dipper and he was invited to move to Tepostlan, Mexico. James was influenced by the Mexican muralists such as Diego Rivera and artist Francisco Toledo and was inspired by Aztec, Mayan, and pre-Columbian sculpture. In the 1990s, James Simon moved to São Paulo, Brazil where he opened a sculpture studio in Villa Madalena, a cultural district of São Paulo. James friended and collaborated with some of São Paulo and Brazils most distinguished artists including mixed media artist Jose Roberto Aguilar and composer and writer Jorge Mautner.


James Simon James moved back to Pittsburgh, PA in 2000 where he converted an old warehouse into his studio and living space. He hosted the nationally acclaimed Gist Street Reading series for 10 years starting in 2001. The readings were held monthly and featured local and national poets and writers. The series was directed by Sherrie Flick along with Nancy Krygowski and Rick Schweikert. The series focused on emerging writers publishing their first or second books. He continues to make sculpture and mosaics.

2014 – 15 Washington Middle/High School Washington County, Pennsylvania 2016 – 2017 McGuffy Middle/High School Washington County, Pennsylvania 2017 – 2018 Laurel Highlands Middle School Fayette County, Pennsylvania

Calvin Stemley Calvin is an accomplished musician, educator, and performer located in Pittsburgh, PA. His resume includes degrees from Grambling State University (BS in Music Education 1975), as well as the University of Pittsburgh (MA in Ethnomusicology 1980, as well as 60 other class credits in Ethnomusicology). Calvin is currently playing a CE Winds Pro Artist Series “Warring Angel” CLC Tenor Saxophone with;

• House of Soul - “Pittsburgh #1 R&B Band” • Southern Comfort • It Takes Two • Caribbean Vibes • Cross Culture

PROFESSIONAL ORGANIZATIONS • KAPPA KAPPA PSI Honorary Band Fraternity • PHI MU ALPHA Professional Men’s Music Fraternity • KAPPA DELTA PSI Honor Society in Education 2017 - 2018 Burgettstown High School Washington County, Pennsylvania 2018 – 2019 Burgettstown High School Washington County, Pennsylvania

Calvin’s employment has included Pittsburgh Public School Instrumental Specialist, Band Director –Westinghouse High School, Founder and Director of the Pittsburgh Public School Honors Jazz Band, and Conductor of the Mellon Jazz Student Spectacular. AWARDS • Recipient of Institute of Black American Music Award (1972) • Theory and Composition Award Grambling University (1974-75) • Who’s Who Among College Students at Universities 1975 • WAMO Afro-American Award Show (Best R&B performer (1998) • Service in Education Award (Our House Development Inc, 2008)


Codi Yoders Vanata Art has always been Codi’s passion. Before graduating from Carmichaels Area High School, she attended Pennsylvania Governor’s School for the Arts where she learned to become an advocate for the arts.

2017 - 2018 Bethlehem Center Middle/High School Washington County, Pennsylvania

After high school she attended Mercyhurst College and Edinboro University, majoring in Fine Arts. Codi’s passion and enthusiasm soon led her to become an educator at the Andy Warhol Museum, empowering & educating people of all ages through screen print and a variety of art forms.


Rural Arts Collaborative is a copyright of the Fayette County Cultural Trust

Robert Villamagna

2018 - 2019 Weir High School Hancock County, West Virginia A native of California, Villamagna resided in both, Toronto, Ohio and Weirton, W.Va. over his childhood and his youth. He has lived in Wheeling for 21 years. West Liberty University Assistant Professor of Art Robert Villamagna was selected as 2016 Artist of the Year by Governor Earl Ray Tomblin. Villamagna joined WLU in 1996 as an interim professor and remains an important part of the College of Arts and Communication, teaching studio art. He earned his master’s at Wright State University and his undergraduate degree at Franciscan University. His creative work stands the test of time. At the West Virginia Division of Culture and History, they are proud to have his award winning juried art in their state art collection. Villamagna joined WLU in 1996. He also is also the director of WLU Nutting Gallery, which hosts art exhibitions throughout the year. He earned his master’s at Wright State University and his undergraduate degree at Franciscan University. Prior to this award, Villamagna received four awards from W.Va. Division of Culture and History at W.Va. for juried exhibitions in 2015, 2013, 2009 and 2005. He also serves on the Wheeling Arts Commission and maintains a website at On June 15, 2017, Robert was entered into the Wheeling Hall of Fame.


Nancy Tirone Nancy Tirone, a WLU professor who teaches art education. Nancy has a unique style of work that combines writing with collage and painting.

School to be determined West Virginia

She obtained her B.S. Art Education at Ladycliff College Highland Falls, New York; MAT Art Education at the University of South Carolina, Columbia SC and M.S Curriculum and Instruction/Education Technology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, Wisconsin and Curriculum and Instruction at West Virginia University .

Rebecca Kiger

2018 - 2019 Bellaire High School Belmont County, Ohio

Rebecca Kiger is a documentary, editorial and portrait photographer in Wheeling, West Virginia. My impetus for creating comes from a longing to understand the world and then share a view of that others may not have considered. I also seek beauty and redemption in ‘dark’ places. There is a history of trauma in my family around speaking, especially speaking to truth, so I think I turned to photography as a form of having a voice in the world.


Rural Arts Collaborative is a copyright of the Fayette County Cultural Trust

Mural created by Washington School Districts through the Rural Arts Collaborative Artist in Residency Program. – Laura Jean McLaughlin Mosaic wall created by the Laurel Highlands Middle School students with artist James Simon.

Bricolage – Students created their own late night radio show.


Two hippos have taken up residence in the teen area at Citizens Library in Washington. The latest installment of the Rural Arts Collaborative, the cement hippos were conceptualized and designed by artist James Simon and McGuffey High School students.

Hiromi Katayama’s Mural

Outdoor classroom created by Diane Adams at Lafayette School in Fayette County. The benches made by the Connellsville Career and Technical School for this project.


School years 2012-13 through 2016-17 FAYETTE COUNTY A total of 1375 students were impacted throughout Fayette County since the start of the RAC Project 2012 – 2017. (6 residencies total) Students below were from Connellsville, Uniontown, Frazier & Laurel Highlands (4 School Districts collaboratively participated) Music – Guitar & Violin lessons with 2 resident artists: 224 students {25% of these students were from low to very low family incomes} Theatrical Classes – Project Talent workshops with resident artist: 579 students {53% of these students were considered troubled youth from troubled families, with “troubled family” defined as abusive or drug involved} Art Classes – Liz Jones Art Studios - 2 resident artists worked in various forms of art: Ceramics, Painting, Jewelry Making: 554 students {85% of these students were from low to very low family incomes} Special Needs – worked with resident artist at Highlands Hospital Cleveland Clinic Facility on Mural Painting: 18 students {all of these students were Autistic} GREENE COUNTY A total of 450 students were impacted throughout Greene County since the start of the RAC Project 2012 – 2017. All 5 school districts in Greene had teaching artist residencies, as well as one IU#1 Alternative School. (6 residencies total) Carmichael School District: 90 students worked with resident artist on Metal Sculptures Central Greene School District: 80 students – worked on Screen Printing IU#1 East Franklin Alternative School: 70 students {CTHES – Comprehensive & Therapeutic Emotional Support and physically disabled students} – worked on Screen Printing & Jewelry Making Jefferson Morgan School District: 80 students – worked on Paper Making & Print Making Southeast Greene School District: 75 students – worked on Ceramic Tile Mosaics West Greene School District: 55 students – worked on Fiber Arts WASHINGTON COUNTY A total of 775 students were impacted throughout Washington County since the start of the RAC Project 2012– 2017. A total of 3 school districts in Washington, as well as one IU#1 Alternative School had teaching artist residencies. (5 residencies total) Washington School District: 550 students – worked on Ceramic Sculptures McGuffey School District: 75 students – worked on Japanese Watercolor Painting & Ceramic Sculptures (2 residencies) Canon McMillan School District: 100 students – worked on Theatre Arts & Dance IU#1 Clark Alternative School: 50 students {CTHES – Comprehensive Therapeutic and Emotional Support & Alternative Troubled students} – worked on Mural Painting.

Rural Arts Collaborative is a copyright of the Fayette County Cultural Trust


School Year 2017 – 2018 TOTAL SERVED IN BOTH PA & WV = 1015 Washington - 117 (20 Special Needs) Bentworth - 114 (31 Special Needs) Burgettstown - 25 (7 Special Needs) Beth Center - 94 (12 Special Needs) Frazier - 114 (26 Special Needs) Laurel Highlands - 177 (33 IEP/Special Needs) Uniontown Lafayette- 50 (8 Special Needs) Uniontown Ben Franklin - 95 (18 Special Needs) TOTAL SERVED IN PA 789 TOTAL SPECIAL NEEDS IN PA 155 Ohio Co WV Wheeling Country Day School - 43 (14 Special Needs) Triadelphia Middle School - 156 (22 Special Needs) Wetzel Co WV Magnolia High School - 27 (3 Special Needs) TOTAL SERVED IN WV 226 TOTAL SPECIAL NEEDS IN WV 39


Rural Arts Collaborative is a copyright of the Fayette County Cultural Trust

RURAL ARTS COLLABORATIVE RESIDENCIES – PA & WV 2012 - 2019 The IU#1 consists of 25 school districts that includes Greene, Fayette and Washington counties. It serves approximately 57,000 students, the majority of them being in Washington County. Since 2012, the RURAL ARTS COLLABORATIVE has, or will have Teaching Artist residencies in 20 PA school districts, including the 4 IU1 Alternative Schools – Laboratory, Clark, Colonial and East Franklin. There are 14 districts in Washington, 6 in Fayette and 5 in Greene. RAC WASHINGTON DISTRICTS SERVED: •BENTWORTH •BETH CENTER •BURGETTSTOWN •CANON McMILLAN •FORT CHERRY •McGUFFEY •RINGGOLD •TRINITY •WASHINGTON RAC FAYETTE DISTRICTS SERVED: •ALBERT GALLATIN •BROWNSVILLE •CONNELLSVILLE •FRAZIER •LAUREL HIGHLANDS •UNIONTOWN RAC GREENE DISTRICTS SERVED: •CARMICHAELS •CENTRAL GREENE •JEFFERSON MORGAN •SOUTHEAST GREENE •WEST GREENE RAC WEST VIRGINIA SCHOOLS SERVED:





Magnolia High School – West Virginia – Testimonial Creativity The project allowed them to think in new ways, use a variety of different mediums and express their artistic vision in new and exciting ways. Michael challenged them creativity through a variety of activities. Collaboration Students worked closely with each other to determine the direction of the project. Sharing, analyzing and incorporating a wide range of viewpoints into the process and final project was very beneficial. Teamwork Students who in the past created artwork alone were now able to create something together in a group. Students said it was “weird” at first because they felt like they didn’t have “control” over the outcome but they soon embraced the process and found it “exciting” to be part of something created by a team. And they were inspired by how the brainstorming and group participation lead to so many possibilities that they may not have thought of on their own. “The whole is greater than the sum of its parts.” Communication Students learned how to communicate with each other and not just talk, but also to listen. Likewise, the project has allowed them to communicate to others about their thoughts and feelings through the art installation. The project allowed them to share with others “an intimate look at what it’s like to live in our community and see the world through our lens.” Students were thrilled to be asked to share what they think and feel and to actually have others listen Personal Journey of Discovery Students expressed strong feelings that the project really bonded them with each other. Many noted that they made very personal connections with other students who they might not otherwise have talked to or come in connect with during the course of the normal school day. The nature of this project allowed them to really get to know each other. Students said it was very reassuring to discover that others shared their thoughts and emotion and they were not alone in their feelings. They realized how many commonalities exist among them. Students said the project challenged them to look at their world in new ways. It also challenged them to learn new skills. While some students gravitated to certain aspects of the project - some loved shooting video, others excelled at scriptwriting, some focused on designing, painting and building- they all tried new things and discovered talents they didn’t know they had. Those discoveries inspired self-confidence and a strong sense of pride. Others described the project as “an escape from personal struggles” of home life and school life. Participating in the project provided a positive outlet to engage with others and feel connected. They said they don’t often have opportunities to do so. One student described the project as a great way to bring the “outsider art kids” together. Many felt that as creative kids, they didn’t get the same recognition or opportunities to enhance their interests in the same way that high school athletes do. One said this project is a “big boost to the creative kids” and compared it to a football playoff game. She said this project has shined a spotlight on the skills and talents that the art students have and how their abilities can contribute to the betterment of their community. The fact that the project took place during the school day was important in terms of accessibility. Several of the students live far out in the country and expressed that transportation for after school activities is a big problem. One student, in particular, said this project made a huge difference in her life overall. She said she has a very difficult home life and having this project to look forward to helped her make through her struggles. She is a freshman and expressed that being involved in RAC got her excited for the rest of high school in a way that nothing else was able to. “I really have a positive outlook now and before this project, I was feeling very negative about everything.”


Rural Arts Collaborative is a copyright of the Fayette County Cultural Trust

RAC Spring Institute – Bentworth High School – 09 May 2018 On 09 May 2018 a Rural Arts Collaborative Spring Institute was held at Bentworth High School. Along with demonstrations and performances by Pittsburgh musician Calvin Stemley, the Bricolage Production Company, the immersive theater troupe headquartered in Pittsburgh’s Cultural District, and Attack Theatre, a dance company from East Liberty, the institute gathered together regional artists who have been in residence at schools in Washington, Greene and Fayette counties and Wheeling, W.Va., since the program’s founding in 2012. Pictured here are from left to right, Brent Robinson, policy, government and public affairs representative, Chevron; Renee Courser, acting director of the Community Foundation of Fayette County; James Denova, Vice President of the Benedum Foundation, artist Hiromi Katayama and Michael Edwards, President of the Fayette County Cultural Trust.

RAC Spring Institute – Thursday, 23 May 2019 8:30 am – 3:00 pm Frederick L. Smeigh Education Center Frazier Middle School 142 Constitution Street Perryopolis, Pennsylvania 15473


“We will inspire you to be a special type of person” This public art piece hangs in Connellsville's Highland’s Hospital. It was created by Life Skills students from 4 different schools in Fayette County. Connellsville Junior High School, AJ McMullen Middle School, Frazier High School and Laurel Highlands Middle School.

On 31 May 2018, the Fayette County Cultural Trust visited the Connellsville High School to talk about collaboration projects and partnerships that would both benefit the High School Students and other organizations. Pictured here are Michael Edwards, Executive Director Connellsville Redevelopment Authority; Lindsay Ketterer Gates, Executive Director Touchstone Center for Crafts; Carmelle Nickens, Manager Rural Arts Collaborative; James Denova, Vice President Benedum Foundation; Daniel Cocks, Executive Director Fayette County Cultural Trust; Justin Gunther, Executive Director Fallingwater and Amy Witt, CASD Assistant Director of Technology. Connellsville is very lucky to have such a high caliber school that is full of technology learning opportunities for its students.


Hiromi Katayama’s public art pieces created by students at Bentworth High School was chosen to be displayed at the Pittsburgh Airport from September – December 2018 . These two displays were added to the airports public art walking tour.

“Origin of Journey” Origin of Journey is made out of 4800 origami cranes, created by about 100 students from Bentworth High School. Each crane was folded by hand with the wish to unite people around the world. Sparkling cranes show individual dreams and hope and the installation in its entirety shows the landscape of Bentworth hills.

This work includes 4 panels of Nihonga screens. Students were interested in the fishing and agriculture roots of the Bentleyville area. It shows local fishes in colorful schemes, streaming in the rivers through town and of course there is a cow!


Rural Arts Collaborative is a copyright of the Fayette County Cultural Trust


Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation Rural Arts Collaborative – Major Funder Mission To encourage human development in West Virginia and Southwestern Pennsylvania through strategically placed charitable resources. Rural Arts Collaborative – Project Manager Carmelle Nickens Fayette County Cultural Trust – RAC Fiscal Agent Daniel Cocks – Executive Director 724-216-4518 Other great organizations that have supported the Rural Arts Collaborative

Spring Institute- 09 May 2018 Rural Arts Collaborative – Part 1 Rural Arts Collaborative – Part 2

Rural Arts Collaborative is a copyright of the Fayette County Cultural Trust

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