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argaret Weisbrod Morris, director of programs and partnerships for the Lawrence Arts Center, got caught skipping school from her suburban Washington, D.C., junior high. When her principal called her on the carpet, Margaret was hardly contrite. She had missed a day of class to hop a bus to the National Gallery of Art to see Vermeer’s Girl with a Red Hat. Happily, the life trajectory Weisbrod Morris’ truancy set has not proven a spiral of delinquency and crime, but quite the opposite. Her early enchantment with art and its powers for broadening horizons and fueling imagination powered her through a degree in art therapy and influences her still. Weisbrod Morris and like-minded colleague Laurie McLane-Higginson, curator of education at the Arts Center, and Liz Kowalchuk, associate dean for the School of the Arts at the University of Kansas, will host the third annual Elk County Summer Art Institute this June. The five-day program, funded by a grant from TradeWind Energy, which runs the Caney River Wind Project in Elk County, will provide about 30 students in grades six through 12 a wide variety of participatory art experiences they would not likely have the opportunity to enjoy in their sparsely populated and economically struggling southeast Kansas hometowns. Many of the students’ schools lack even basic art classes. While the program cannot replace regular exposure to the arts, it does aim to provide an intense exploration. Art Institute students stay in KU dorm rooms and begin each day with the quintessential college dining experience, breakfast at Mrs. E’s, the dining commons in Lewis Hall. Morning sessions are spent at KU, with time in the departments of Visual Art, Dance, Theatre and Film & Media Studies. In the KU theater department, students marvel at the endless closets of shoes and costumes and are invited to ham it up with props. The students also have been treated to demonstrations of the hydraulic lift used behind the scenes on stage. While visiting the KU dance department in summer
- The Reed Family
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Margaret Weisbrod Morris works with the Lawrence Arts Center to host students from Elk County.
Published on May 7, 2013
Published on May 7, 2013
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