Artists Rendering Tales Collective Inc. (ARTCi), is a powerhouse of multi-disciplinary artists who partner with communities across Canada to create and deliver stunning, story-based workshops, installations, videos and literature that capture and animate diverse voices. Much of our work is in school communities where we provide a creative lens to experience and interpret curriculum.
Pre-pandemic, we delivered all of our workshops in person. During the pandemic, we pivoted, like so many others to provide an enriching visiting artist experience to classrooms using digital platforms. It took awhile for ourselves and our educational partners to find our groove, but we did.
Recently, we delivered a full school residency at Brockton Preparatory School. Every year, they make April “Spring Into Reading” Month and focus on school wide literacy enhancing activities. This year, Artists Rendering Tales Collective Inc. (ARTCi) suggested that they should choose a mentor text that Kindergarten to grade 5 students could read. Our team of artists would then visit each class virtually three times over the month to go deep into the book’s themes and explore students’ relationships to the book through art.
The book they chose was “We Are Water Protectors” by Carole Lindstrom, illustrated by Michaela Goade. Our Indigenous artist visited with each of the classrooms via zoom and introduced them to the teachings of the Medicine Wheel and how all creatures alare connected and how we can must all be stewards of the Earth.
I then worked with Kindergartens and grade 1’s to write a short, interpretive poem about where we find water, how it moves and how it nourishes us. We then choreographed the poem into a dance.
Tracie Steward worked with grades 2 and 3’s on a fabric arts weaving project where students used black plastic fencing, pieces of found material and words from the story to create individual and collective installations that address the idea , “Everything we put into water, we put into ourselves.”
Brunella Battista created infographics using digital media with the grades 4 and 5 students. Each student used technology to create a digital poster that both informed people of the importance of water and provided a call to action.
Blog posts on this project can be found on our website at: https://www.artistsrenderingtales.com
The specific link to the beginning of our collaboration begins here: https://www.artistsrenderingtales.com/single-post/spring-into-reading