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BuildaBridge Annual Institute Report June 2013


Annual Institute Philadelphia University, Philadelphia, PA, USA

BuildaBridge Institute is a training and by [Article Author] applied research academy that prepares artists, community and congregational leaders, social service professionals, and nonprofit organization personnel to integrate the arts effectively in education and community development.

The 12th Annual Open Institute began on a bright and sunny day on the campus of Philadelphia University, located just a few miles from the BuildaBridge headquarters. Twentytwo (22) participants from around the country and around the world gathered together to take part in a week of intense learning about the transformative power of the creative arts. Although the majority of participants came from the greater Philadelphia area, others traveled from Colorado, Texas, New York,

Louisiana, Arkansas, and Ecuador and Singapore.


With a faculty of twenty-one (21) professional artists, therapists and professors, students took part in five days of classes which included Skills Development Workshops in the evening and two days of Methods Labs. Special one day courses including Introduction to Restorative Practices and Arts Relief were offered on Monday June 10. A total of twenty-nine people participated in the one day courses. For the first time in Institute history, students in the Arts Relief course took part in a Creative Arts Relief and Recovery Drill simulation. Students from Eastern University’s Masters in Urban Studies (Community Arts Concentration) continued with their residency at the BuildaBridge House until June 13. 1

Open Institute June 5-10 The Open Institute offers courses for participants in Track I (first year participants) and Track II (second year returning participants).

Graduate Residency June 5-13 BuildaBridge partners with Eastern University as a community instructional partner for The Masters Degree in Urban Studies: Community Arts Concentration.


Track 1 Courses Foundation for Arts in Transformation Amy Tuttle, BuildaBridge Master Teacher and Certified Trainer, began Track I students off by laying a solid theoretical foundation in the Arts in Transformation course, using interactive activities and presenting concepts directly from the Arts for Transformation Animator Workbook developed by BuildaBridge in 2012. Tuttle touched on the basic terms of the arts in transformation model as well as concepts, models and practices related to the creative arts for work with populations living in contexts of poverty and crisis. Students participated in experiences “The Institute opened my eyes to a including the listening project different approach with children.� which allowed them to practice active listening skills and qualitative data collection in order to learn how to understand their community needs. The ideas presented in this course helped set the stage for the fields of arts-based community development, cultural community development, development communication, artsintegrated teaching and therapeutic arts.

Arts in Education This year, the Arts in Education course was taught by two new Institute faculty members: Teresa VanDenend Sorge and Julia Crawford, both Institute alumni and BuildaBridge Master Teachers. In this course, Crawford and VanDenend Sorge presented the BuildaBridge Classroom ModelSM, defining the four central concepts of the model: child-centered, hope-infused, trauma-informed, and arts-integrated. Later in the session, both teachers focused on giving participants the basic mechanics of creating arts-integrated and art-as-metaphor curricula and lesson plans that could be used to teach humanities, science and Check out a video of other academic subjects. A sample lesson that taught about Arts in Education the human heart using movement gave students an students acting out part understanding of what an effective lesson should look like. of the lesson! Students were then divided into small groups and given the chance to create lesson plans of their own. Each lesson was presented and all participants assessed the lessons to be sure that all elements of the BuildaBridge Classroom ModelSM were included. This helped set the stage for the Methods Labs that participants took part in later that week.



Arts, Creativity and Human Development Returning to the Institute after three years, Dr. Ann McFarland, Associate Professor of Music Education at West Chester University, led students in a highly interactive music session on Development Milestones for Children. Students learned age-appropriate musical concepts and activities for working with children of all ages, via the Orff Schulwerk approach, a creative approach to music education created by Carl Orff, and the High/Scope Teaching Model. Dr. McFarland also taught key music concepts including Rhythm, Pitch, Form, Timbre, Texture, Harmony, Dynamics, and Tempo. The visual arts session on Development Milestones for Children was taught by artist and art therapist Michele Rattigan. The art therapy section of the presentation presented students with a comprehensive overview of the normal stages of development through the visual arts. Attendees learned how to identify the various stages, indicators of emotional and social growth, media appropriate for each stage, how to engage children in discussions about their artwork, and when to refer a child to an art therapist. A final interactive experience allowed the participants to revisit their inner child by drawing as a child would in the various developmental stages.

Arts and Spiritual Development Ceramic pots, hammers, paint, markers, collage and live music were all incorporated into David Melby-Gibbons’ session on the Foundations of Spirituality. Melby-Gibbons, teacher, musician and Institute alum, shared with Track I students a story titled “The Cracked Pot: A Story for Anyone Who’s Not Quite Perfect”. After reading this story, students received their own pots to hit, break, paint and alter in whatever way they chose. Each student then shared their final art piece with the class and the inspiration behind their creation. Dr. Joe Modica, Eastern University chaplain and professor, continued the discussion of arts and spirituality in his session “Faith is a Verb”: A Brief Overview of Faith Development and Theories. Dr. Modica explained to students how faith is a verb, making it a dynamic and active concept as opposed to the inactive and object view of faith as a noun. Faith development theories were discussed as well as examples of how faith development can be studied qualitatively and quantitatively. Dr. Geri Lynn Peak presented on Virtues and Values for Children and Youth. Peak taught the session using the world renowned The Virtues Project ™. Students discussed the definitions of virtues and values, explored how the concept of virtues is seen as universal and positive qualities of character support, and participated in interactive exercises. 3


Methods Labs Track I Methods Labs act as a hands-on and fully interactive experience for participants to observe and assist a master teacher in the classroom. Track I students participated in Methods Labs at two separate BuildaBridge community partner sites: John B. Stetson School and Oxford Circle Christian Community Development Association. BuildaBridge teaching artist and Director of Community Programs Jamaine Smith taught a visual arts class focusing on rivers. Smith began by using a world map to show the kids where different rivers are in the world, and explain how a river is formed. The kids created their own giant river created out of paper filled with decorative drawings by the kids that eventually ebbed and flowed around the classroom. At the other site, Master Teacher Julia Crawford taught a fun filled and high energy movement class to a group of enthusiastic kids and Institute students. Crawford spent the two weeks prior to the Institute teaching this class in order to prepare for the Methods Labs, using the same curriculum about rivers that was used at the “I learned an incredible amount about effective teaching and arts integration and had a fantastic other partner site. All participants engaged in several movement time doing it!” exercises and the Institute students were able to see what the BuildaBridge Classroom ModelSM looks like in action.

Track II Track II students visited Caring Heart Rehabilitation and Nursing Center in Germantown for their Methods Labs. Students observed teaching artist Kathryn Pannepacker as she led the class in a visual art lesson. Each class started by establishing their “studio”, saying the BuildaBridge Motto, and repeating messages of hope that the seniors and students created together. In this experience, students were able to individually interact and assist the seniors, observe the teaching methods that Pannepacker used, and create a sense of community by getting to know each person by listening and sharing personal stories. All participants worked on creating patterns, shapes and textures. This Methods Lab gave “The Institute was stimulating Institute students a particularly unique challenge that rewarded me with opportunity to use the arts with the elderly. valuable knowledge, a sense of Many of the Caring Heart participants in this community and a deepened session had physical disabilities thus the lesson understanding of myself.” had to be properly adapted to fit the needs of the participants while still following the framework of the BuildaBridge Classroom ModelSM. 4


Track II Courses Arts in Healing In the Arts in Healing course, Dr. Jim Borling touched on the importance of music as a healing agent. Not only is music very therapeutic, but it can also help be a reflection of our inner self. The Art of Music was discussed from a variety of human domains which included social, emotional, physiological, cognitive and spiritual. Art psychotherapist Dr. Mindy Jacobson-Levy presented on the use of the art psychotherapy process as an instrument for healing. Using visual arts as her focus, Jacobson-Levy explained the value of art making in therapy and in the community. For those who have experienced trauma, using art and imagery may be a better form of expression rather than the use of words. Students also participated in an experiential exercise where they created their own altered book. Focusing on movement therapy, Dr. Ellen Schelly-Hill presented on the therapeutic relationship and creative movement process that make contributions to cultivating resilience in at-risk youth. Students learned about the healing relationship which is child centered, culturally sensitive and meets the child where he or she is. Dr. Gene Ann Behrens discussed neurodevelopment with students in her session Neurobiology of Trauma in the Arts. In this session, participants learned about the relationship between individuals with unresolved trauma and their emotions. Talking therapy can cause individuals to relive their trauma experience; therefore, art can be an effective form of therapy to assist them in reintegrating their physiological and emotional responses connected to the traumatic experience.

Arts in Social Services Students learned about Arts in Social Services in sessions with Trapeta Mayson, social worker and poet, and Amy Tuttle. Mayson discussed with students the field of Social Services from the view point of a child. She stressed the importance of working with children from a strength based perspective. Special guest speaker Kristy Engel, Healthcare Relief Resource missionary for American Baptist International ministries, joined the class via Skype and discussed the history of international social services, best practices and methods, and also touched on her personal experience in the field. Tuttle concluded the session with a brief discussion on best practices for self-care for the caretaker.

Leadership Practicum & Organization for Community Arts Track II students finished off their courses with a series of Leadership Practicum sessions. Faculty members Dr. Nathan Corbitt and Dr. Cheryl Oakman provided the participants with the opportunity to learn different tools for program planning, program funding and assessment. Students also were presented with ideas on how to envision a program and the creating of objectives. Additionally, Dr. Oakman covered the basics of grant writing and gave students several helpful tips. Lisa Jordan, lawyer and BuildaBridge’s Board Chair, led a very informative session on legal issues for youth in the Organization for Community Arts session. Jordan gave many examples of youth cases she has worked on, describing the good and sometimes difficult aspects of the law in regards to children. Participants listened intently and asked profound questions, many in regards to reporting child abuse. This session was helpful for several participants who currently work with children and youth. 5


Special One Day Courses Arts Relief and Psychological First Aid On Monday June 10, the BuildaBridge Institute offered two special one day courses. This allowed for an additional ten people to participate in the Institute courses. The Arts Relief course offered two separate sessions to its participants. The first session, Psychological First Aid, was taught by Dr. Ruth Hoskins on behalf of the American Red Cross. Participants learned how to respond to local and national disasters and how to provide basic care, comfort, and support to people who are experiencing disaster related stress. Knowing how to use Psychological First Aid can help you to assess what a person may need at a particular time, provide immediate support to those in stressful situations and create a compassionate environment for disaster survivors and workers. Upon completing this session, each participant received a certificate in Psychological First Aid from the American Red Cross.

Creative Artists Relief and Recovery Drill This year, the second session offered an entirely different experience to students. For an entire afternoon, all thirteen participants spent the afternoon of the Arts Relief course taking part in the Creative Artists Relief and Recovery Drill. This simulation acted as a useful guide for how to prepare for an international relief trip and what to actually do at a disaster relief site. The simulation was made to be as realistic as possible, complete with filling out visa applications, going through customs, and cleaning up rubble. Before any work was done, a team leader was chosen to help organize, orient and prepare the group. The group was then led to the site (created in BuildaBridge’s backyard), an orphanage that experienced recent destruction from a natural disaster. The group met with the woman in charge of the orphanage, her husband and the children. Immediately everyone went to work clearing the debris, making the space safe for the children, and providing activities to the children to keep their minds off of the chaos and destruction. Although the group faced many challenges, they were able to use the BuildaBridge Pocket Curriculum for Arts Relief and Recovery to guide them in their recovery work.

Introduction to Restorative Practices For the second year, Introduction to Restorative Practices, taught by Dr. Vivian Nix-Early, was offered as a special one day course. Taking its beginnings from the restorative justice movement, restorative practices is a practical approach to interacting with students, and is a set of techniques and philosophies that can be applied in any context. This course provided students with a solid introduction to restorative practices. Dr. Nix-Early showed participants how the use of restorative practices as an alternative to punishment focused discipline is helpful in reducing misbehavior, bullying, violence and crime among students. Upon completion, all participants received certificates from the International Institute for Restorative Practices. 6


Skills Development Workshops Drumming Taught by master drummer Dr. Jim Borling, the drumming workshop allowed participants to learn basic drumming techniques and also how drumming can be used to allow for personal and cultural growth. Participants learned about conscious drumming, a model of group drumming that is used to facilitate individual expression while in a group setting. Drumming circles were offered each day giving all participants the chance to let their emotions out, experience the spirituality of the moment and feel at one with the rhythm of the group. Those who participated in this workshop were able to show off their newly acquired drumming skills at the Skills Development Celebration.

Storytelling The storytelling workshop was incredibly interactive. Participants in this workshop spent the first day simply talking with one another, telling stories, and answering the inquisitive questions of teacher Mark Lyons. The next few days were spent developing individual stories, and recording them live. Lyons showed participants the unique technology that can be used to morph everyday stories into an artistic masterpiece. Students added their own music and edited feverishly. Their final project was presented to the entire Institute group during the Skills Development Celebration.

Transformational Movement BuildaBridge Master Teacher Julia Crawford led nine Institute participants in the transformational movement workshop for three consecutive evenings. In this workshop, participants were actively engaged with one another, learning different choreographic tools including repetition, transposing, levels, and theme and variation. Participants started each class with symbolic movement, movements that expressed their personal emotions. Groups of three used collaborative choreography to pick and choose from the movements already created by the group and use them to then create a unique sequence. Each group’s sequence was then taught to the others and put together as one long sequence. To many people’s surprise, each individual became a choreographer by the end of the three sessions. The group sequence was ultimately performed for the entire Institute group at the Skills Development Celebration. “I feel inspired and empowered from learning practical skills and tools I can immediately implement.”



Data & Statistics At the end of the week, participants of the BuildaBridge Institute 2013 were asked to complete a course and instructor evaluation. The questions addressed the quality of each lecture in terms of proficiency of the instructor, materials presented, expectations of the lecture, and relevancy to participants’ lives and community work. The evaluations also included assessments for the overall experience. All Institute participants were required to complete an evaluation before the end of the Annual Institute. Below is a sampling of the data that was collected. 1 2 4% 0%

82% of participants said the Institute was effective in preparing them to deliver arts integrated programming.

5 32%

3 14%

4 50%

(Rated on a scale of 1 to 5, with 5 being most effective)

Strongly Disagree 5%

95% of participants said the Institute furthered their understanding regarding the impact of the arts on learning and cognition.

Disagree 0% Agree 18% Strongly Agree 77%

100% - Number of participants who were able to identify a concept and/or skill that they learned 90% - Number of participants who said they would attend another Institute 33 – Total number of participants 52 – Total number of course hours completed by participants


Neutral 0%


Thank You Philadelphia University is a student-centered institution that prepares graduates for successful careers in an evolving global marketplace. By blending the liberal arts and sciences, professional studies, interdisciplinary learning, and collaborations in and out of the classroom, students learn to thrive in diverse and challenging environments. Our students are encouraged to form supportive relationships with each other as well as faculty, staff, and alumni in an academically rigorous setting that is focused on intellectual and personal growth. Philadelphia University is an experiential learning community where integrity, creativity, curiosity, ethics, responsibility, and the free exchange of ideas are valued. Eastern University is a co-educational Christian university of the arts that includes undergraduate, graduate, Seminary and accelerated adult programs. Eastern’s School for Social Change offers a master’s degree in Urban Studies, in which students learn to be effective Christian leaders in urban settings and can choose a concentration in either Arts in Transformation, Community Development or Youth Leadership. Many thanks to the following partner sites that participated in the Methods Labs: Caring Heart Rehabilitation and Nursing Center John B. Stetson School Oxford Circle Christian Community Development Association

2014 Institute Dates: June 4-9, 2014 For more information, take a look at the Institute Viewbook which gives detailed descriptions on all Institute courses and short bios for all the faculty members. BuildaBridge 205 West Tulpehocken St. Philadelphia, PA 19144 215.842.0428


2013 Institute Report  

This report provides an overview of BuildaBridge's 12th Annual Institute for Arts and Transformation which took place June 5-10, 2013.

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