At the August Rendezvous in Sisters, we were provided the opportunity to showcase some of the work we are currently providing in the Sisters Schools. Through presenting, we identified some of the successes we are having, as well as the vast opportunity to develop our programs specific to Studio to School and improve in many areas.
The discussion with Milenko Matanovic was inspiring, seeing public places as gathering spots for building community, and the opportunity to be a catalyst for change that brings people together in powerful ways. The need for collaboration with the community and our schools is paramount in our initiative. After 15 years we have a good start, but Studio to School provides new opportunity to build bridges within the school community and with our families, and develop k-8 programming that helps students achieve and brings new life to enrichment and academics in the classroom. This sense of renewed opportunity and keeping inclusion in mind for all of our community was a powerful reflection.
I think families and community members outside our immediate sphere are folks we want to engage further. We need to create new collaborative partnerships; including the new Sisters Schools superintendent, expanding our circle of teachers within the District, community members, organizations like Hood Avenue Arts Association, the Sisters Science Club and community artists. We will meet with and reach out to these folks to make them aware of the work we are doing, and invite them to participate and/or contribute.
Anna Tivel, a songwriter from Corvallis, OR performs for a free community concert at Fir Street Park, a gathering place for the community of Sisters.
It will be interesting to see the engagement of the kids, and consequently the parents and community as a whole in year 2. Our programming already has great buy-in, but our new initiatives will benefit by engaging many facets of our community more deeply. One key project this year will be the Celebration of Whychus Creek and the Deschutes River Watershed. Every elementary school student and many at the middle school will take part in this project, with restoration efforts, ecology and water studies, and arts integration projects, including a public art installation and celebration of the students’ work displayed on the elementary school fence on Highway 20. By forging patnerships with the U.S Forest Service, the Upper Deschutes Watershed Council and local visual artists, we will hopefully bring a heightened awareness of arts education and our willingness to engage the community in compelling and new ways.
Sisters Folk Festival presents Ketih Greeninger, singer-songwriter from Santa Cruz, CA and Anna Tivel who performed August 22 for a free community concert at Fir Street Park.