Through College of Fine Arts, its departments and units offer many ways for future arts educators, faculty and the community to engage with the arts through interdisciplinary collaborations and outreach activities that closely examine the processes of knowledge acquisition and skill development.
Arts Integration for Multidisciplinary Connections
Launched in 2013, Arts Integration for Multidisciplinary Connections is an arts-based course designed to stimulate students’ thinking and expand their knowledge and experience in arts integration. Through readings, videos, in-class activities, discussion, field trips, facilitations, and written reflection, students develop a practical understanding of the techniques and skills associated with integrating the arts into various contexts. Students experience each art content area (dance, music, theatre arts, and visual arts) to develop an introductory understanding of each of these disciplines. The remainder of the course is spent exploring the teaching skills and creative competencies necessary to integrate two of the four arts disciplines into a range of disciplines arts in education, arts in business, arts in community development. This course may be used to fulfill the visual and performing arts component of the university core curriculum. For more information – FA 308 Arts Integration for Multidisciplinary Connections
The College of Fine Arts collaborated with AISD on a scholarship, the Austin ISD Artists Award for graduating seniors to cover the cost of tuition for up to three seniors each year who will major in the College of Fine Arts. The goal of the award will enable recipients to pursue their academic and artistic goals at UT without financial barriers.
Drama For Schools
A professional development program in drama-based instruction in association with the Department of Theatre and Dance in the College of Education. Drama For Schools gives interested graduate students in DTYC opportunities to train educators in drama-based pedagogy and drama-based instructional strategies across the curriculum. DFS currently has local, national and international partnership with a variety of schools and school districts. DFS make available drama-based instruction teaching strategies and lesson plans on the DBI Network.
Dell Children’s Hospital Outreach
Students from the Visual Arts program and Dell Children’s Hospital are participating in an internship as part of the Learners and Instructional Sites Course (VAS 241/141) taught by Dr. Heidi Powell in collaboration with Kimberlee Korte, the Director of Child Life. Students design and develop arts-based curriculum to engage children and their families who are under the care of the hospital. The students manage activities in age-specific community rooms and participate in room-to-room visits with a focus on the variety of unique needs involving children of all ages. One recent activity students designed was the “Whimsy Stick,” where patients and family members bring the outside in, creating a cascading mobile with natural objects and art materials that can be added to, as a place where the children and their families can attach objects and photos to provide a place to collect memories. This collaborative internship provides the wonderful confluence of community service, student interest, curriculum design and the arts to promote healing and learning.
In January 2014, Robert Smith, Chairman of Vista Equity Partners, expressed a vision for providing the children of Austin access to instrumental music experiences. Musical Lives is a collaboration with the Sarah and Ernest Butler School of Music and UT Elementary School that provides music instruments and high quality music instruction to children in areas of the community where access to music instruction to children in area of the community and individual instruction is limited by ecumenic constraints.
The program’s inaugural session began in the fall of 2014, with the aspiration that it would expand to include children from a wide range of neighborhoods in Austin and the surrounding communities. Musical Lives provides instruments and instruction for all of the UT Elementary children in Grades 2-5. The children are taught by teachers trained in the UT String Project – who are supervised by String Project Director, Professor Laurie Scott.
Founded in 1948, the Project has become a national model for both string education and string teacher education. Each year the program engages 300 children and their families in high quality learning experiences that include individual and group instruction, ensembles, and academic classes designed to develop children’s musical understanding and skills, contributing to their intellectual development and personal growth. The Project is also a teacher education incubator, a living laboratory in which undergraduate and graduate students in the Butler School refine their pedagogical skills as they learn how rewarding it can be to help young children achieve meaningful goals.
Texas Cultural Trust
The College of Fine Arts and the Texas Cultural Trust have formed the Arts and Digital Literacy Initiative to focus on integrating fine arts education and technology. The initiative is a project-based, ﬁne arts curricula for high school students that establishes the connection between traditional ﬁne arts education and digital media. The courses are based on a combined set of ﬁne arts and technology standards that create learning experiences to develop students’ capacities for creativity, critical thinking, imagination and innovation. The initiative creates arts instruction that is rigorous, designed to specifically develop students’ media literacy, with integrated, relevant skills in preparation for the demands of the 21st-century workplace. All of the courses within the program will meet the standards for the ﬁne arts in the Texas Essential Knowledge Skills approved by the Texas Board of Education in the 2015 school year. The College of Fine Arts has already provided workshops and trainings for more than 4,000 teachers.