As the latest initiative of National YoungArts Foundation's (YoungArts) ongoing work to help increase arts education and awareness, YoungArts has begun distributing copies of Pursuing Your Passion: Lessons from YoungArts MasterClass, a study guide booklet and 2-DVD set, free of charge to middle and high schools nationwide. Developed in conjunction with Columbia University's Teachers College, the study guide and DVD set is based on the award winning HBO YoungArts MasterClass series in which masters teach and mentor young artists. This educational tool, as well as sample lesson plans, recommended classroom activities, and full episodes of YoungArts MasterClass are also available free of charge to schools and teachers nationwide as a download from the Teachers College's EdLab website at www.youngartsmasterclass.org.
To support the implementation of the study guide and DVD set in classrooms, free professional development opportunities are being offered to teachers in New York City, Los Angeles and Miami. The training sessions, which will be led by Teachers College faculty, will take place on October 20 in New York City, October 24 and 25 in Los Angeles, and November 6 in Miami. Participating teachers will receive professional development credits.
"For more than 30 years we have been providing young artists with mentorship experiences with some of the most distinguished artists in the world, and the support these students need to follow their passion and pursue careers in the arts. We are proud to be able to use our work to inspire the teaching of critical thinking skills, and to foster an appreciation of the vital role creativity plays in every aspect of our lives," said Paul T. Lehr, Executive Director of YoungArts.
"We wanted to provide students with an interdisciplinary experience in an authentic way -- to present concepts such as 'mastery,' for example, which holds true across all disciplines," said Professor Hal Abeles, Chair of Columbia University's Teachers College Department of Arts and Humanities. "The study guide fosters critical thinking, collaboration, creativity, and communication – skills which the 21st Century Partnership identified as critical for success in the 21st century."
Pursuing Your Passion: Lessons from YoungArts MasterClass was created as a resource to assist teachers in bringing arts examples into their classroom activities and discussions, while they address 21st century critical thinking skills and Common Core State Standards. The study guide was crafted to support the exploration of creativity, mastery, and collaboration in humanities, language arts, math, science, and social studies classrooms. Questions such as "What makes someone a master?" or "How can successes and failures be used as valuable learning tools in the development of mastery?" guide classroom discussion around the YoungArts MasterClass episodes.
The YoungArts MasterClass series, directed by the award winning documentary team of Karen Goodman and Kirk Simon, captures the moments between young artists and the masters who mentor them. These episodes feature YoungArts alumni in the visual literary and performing arts working with internationally renowned artistic masters including Edward Albee, Jacques d'Amboise, Plácido Domingo, Olafur Eliasson, Frank Gehry, Bill T. Jones, Julian Schnabel, Michael Tilson Thomas and Liv Ullmann. Season 2 will feature, among others, Renée Fleming, Robert Redford, John Guare, Bobby McFerrin, Patti LuPone, Bruce Weber, Joshua Bell, and Wynton Marsalis.
The National YoungArts Foundation (formerly known as the National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts) was established in 1981 by Lin and Ted Arison to identify and support the next generation of artists, and to contribute to the cultural vitality of the nation by investing in the artistic development of talented young artists in the visual, literary, and performing arts. YoungArts provides emerging artists with life-changing experiences with renowned mentors, access to significant scholarships, national recognition, and other opportunities throughout their careers to help ensure that the nation's most outstanding emerging artists are encouraged to pursue careers in the arts.