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  • Meet the Intern - Emma Farnham

    Posted Wednesday June 12 2019 at 8:22 pm in News

    Emma Farnham outdoors wearing an orange dress and holding a parasol

    Hi, I'm Emma! I'm originally from Atlanta, Georgia, but I've lived in Boston for the past two years. I'm a rising junior in the Lynch School of Education at Boston College, majoring in applied psychology and human development.

    What are your favorite pastimes?
          "I love to sing; I've been in choir since middle school, and currently perform with the University Chorale of Boston College! Singing classical music for a modern audience is a unique challenge, but it's incredible to know that so many people have performed the same piece before you and that people will continue to sing it long after you're gone. Being a part of that continuity is an amazing feeling. I also love video games, reading anything I can get my hands on, and spending time with my family."

    If you could be a cartoon character, who would you be?
          "Definitely Katara from Avatar: The Last Airbender. She's strong, smart, and sassy, and she cares deeply for her friends. Also, having the ability to control water would be pretty cool!"

    You are trapped on an island.  What three items do you want to have with you?
          "All seven Harry Potter books, a comfy bed, and my mom (for a great conversation partner in between re-reads.)"

    Do you have any uncommon talents or quirks?
          "I wear mismatched socks on purpose, but hate it if the rest of my clothes aren’t folded or hung up neatly. I rode horses for eleven years and used to own a horse named Miles. I also tend to overuse exclamation points in everything I write!"

    What brings you to VSA?
          "I learned about VSA through volunteering with the Boston College Campus School, one of VSA's COOL Schools partners. I strongly believe that the arts benefit everybody, and that people of every age and ability deserve access to spaces where they can be creative. I’m very lucky to have found a place where I can gain practical job experience while also encouraging inclusive participation in the arts."

    What are you doing during your internship?
          "I'm doing a bit of everything - learning about nonprofit management, posting on social media, and working with the COOL Schools program!"

    Meet the Teaching Artist: Krina Patel

    Posted Friday February 08 2019 at 5:43 pm in Education

    Think-Create-Learn: Making Art Mindfully

    I am a visual designer and artist. Increasingly, my practice, especially my socially engaged arts projects, include both visuals, audio, and text.

    Think-Create-Learn, that is my mantra.  Professor David Perkins, with whom I studied and worked writes, "Learning is a consequence of thinking."  My research shows that the process of learning skills that require the engagement of the body and senses is indeed thinking in action.  When we make art, we think and learn in real time.  This is the theory that underlies the often used phrase in education - "learning by doing".  For example, students who are engaged in a drawing and coloring/painting activity are developing their aesthetic sense, thinking and communicating visually, learning about a topic as in the owl and fish images below, as well as practicing manual skills using drawing and coloring/painting tools.  All this is happening in real time as they are engaged in the activity.

    Drawing of owls by a kindergartner Drawings for owl study by a kindergartner at Everett Elementary School, Boston.

    Painting of fish by a kindergartner Painting for study of fish in their habitat by a kindergartner at Everett Elementary School, Boston.

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    Meet the Teaching Artist - Leo Colon

    Posted Monday January 14 2019 at 1:02 pm in Education

    Leo Colon onstage with students

    In my instrumental and vocal classes besides learning the rudiments of music, performance craft and creativity, my students learn about collaborating and working together while being part of an ensemble.  This training allows them the opportunity for self-expression, for developing confidence, responsibility, punctuality, self-awareness, discipline, communication skills, compassion, trust, autonomy, leadership, and time management.  Each one of these skills is stressed in my classes from day one.  Other benefits that my students receive are the opportunity to work outside of their comfort zone, which encourages them to think outside the box.

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