Addison Updates Archive

Addison Hosts New England Arts for Literacy Summer Institute

New England Arts for Literacy (NEAL) was formed in the fall of 2014 as a collaboration between Andover and Salem Public Schools, the Quaboag Regional Innovation District, the Addison Gallery of American Art, the Peabody Essex Museum, Springfield Museums, and individual education and arts professionals. The project is generously funded by a four-year Arts in Education Model Development and Dissemination grant awarded by the U.S. Department of Education. The goals of the project include training teachers who can connect literacy, the arts, and other content areas; creating positive classroom school climates with the capacity to offer high-quality integrated arts curricula; engaging students in learning with a high academic self-concept and excellent reading comprehension; and developing a technology-supported New England network of arts integration experts and partners to carry on this work after the period of federal funding.

To achieve these goals, NEAL will expand, document, evaluate, and disseminate the research-based Performance Cycle model for developing literacy through the arts. The Performance Cycle provides teachers and artists with the tools to help students engage deeply with literary texts and demonstrate their knowledge through high-quality performance, artistic presentation, and reflection. The Addison education team is working with participating teachers to integrate visits to the Addison and use of images from the collection into their curricula to enhance visual literacy, critical thinking skills, and reading comprehension writing skills taught using the Performance Cycle.

In July, the Addison hosted 44 teachers for the first NEAL summer teaching institute. During the week-long event, the teachers delved into Homer's Odyssey using the Performance Cycle. Exploring the exhibitions Light/Dark, White/Black and On the Scene: 20th Century Street Photography with Addison Curator of Education Rebecca Hayes and Addison Education Associate Christine Jee, participants were able to see how artists use black and white to convey ideas and emotions, and apply this visual literacy to their final ”performances of understanding” of the Odyssey.

Photos: Jesse Banks III Photography