About the Program
The Arts Council, in collaboration with Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS), launched the Artist Residency Program in the 2014-2015 school year. Now in its fourth year, the Artist Residency Program provides Fairfax County professional artists with training on FCPS's teaching philosophy and effective practices for working with middle school students, assistance with the development of artist residencies, and placement in Fairfax County middle schools.
In addition to providing opportunities for artists to share their expertise through unique arts education programming that supplements the FCPS curriculum, the Artist Residency Program engages middle school students in cross-curricular learning through the arts. The artists connect their creative processes, whether through architecture, design, music, new media, film, literature, poetry, theater or visual art, with the core curriculum areas of social studies, language arts, mathematics, and sciences, to enhance students’ skills in creativity, critical thinking, communication and collaboration.
Teaching Artist Seminar
The teaching artist seminar introduces professional artists to Fairfax County Public Schools Fine Arts teaching philosophy. Participants examine middle school learner characteristics, see how to meet learner needs and appeal to their interests, and explore ways to connect their artistic expertise with curriculum standards. Focus is placed on the development of a residency program that promotes cross-curricular learning and 21st century skills. Interactive sessions include investigation of ways of knowing, lesson planning guidance, and methodologies for student engagement and reflection. During the seminar, artists develop and refine a residency proposal and unit plan. The seminar is held each year near the beginning of the school year.
Visit the Artist Directory to learn about the nine artists as well as their residencies.
Students at Whitman Middle School put on their masks for the presentation in the auditorium. Photo Credit: Capitol Media USA
The Artist Residency Program and Teaching Artist Seminar have been funded in part by Carnival, Claude Moore Charitable Foundation, The Dimick Foundation, Dominion Foundation, Jean Schiro-Zavela and Vance Zavela, the Virginia Commission for the Arts, and the National Endowment for the Arts with institutional resources committed by the Arts Council and FCPS.