Monday, June 7th, 2010...6:50 pm

Summertime News from ArtesAméricas: Vamos ao Brasil!

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During the summertime, life on UT’s campus slows down. Whether it’s the heat or the absence of most of the 50k students, things just move at a different pace. However, at Texas Performing Arts, summer offers only a brief “intermission” between the last performance of one season and the preparations for the next one. For ArtesAméricas, this summer is busier than normal. In addition to planning the details of the performances and surroundings activities for an exciting slate of artists who will perform on campus this year, we’re hard at work on the details of an exciting collaboration with the Lozano Long Institute of Latin American Studies (LLILAS) called “Arts & Empowerment in Brazil: Seminar and Curriculum Development Project for Educators” . The project is a result of a $88,843 grant from The US Department of Education’s Fulbright-Hays Group Projects Abroad (GPA) Program. The project is a unique opportunity for fourteen secondary school teachers from across the country to spend a month in Brazil this summer, learning about arts-based education and social programs. The group will spend one week in each of four Brazilian cities (Salvador, Belo Horizonte, Rio de Janeiro, and São Paulo), working with a different performing arts program. Here are some links to brief video clips about the various artists involved, each doing remarkable and vital work in their communities:

Nós do Morro (Rio de Janeiro)
Guri Santa Marcelina (São Paulo)
AfroReggae (Rio de Janeiro)
Corpo Cidadão (Belo Horizonte)
Didá Educational & Cultural Association (Salvador)

According to LLILAS Outreach Director Natalie Arsenault, who will co-direct the project with ArtesAméricas Director Joe Randel, “the immediate beneficiaries of the project are teachers in middle and high school who are interested in teaching about Brazilian culture. Participants will develop interesting curriculum units that are readily usable in a variety of classes, and we will create a multi-media web site for wide dissemination of the new curriculum across the nation. In this way, arts projects in Brazil can help teach students in the United States about Brazilian culture and the transformative power of the arts.”

This is the second such grant that LLILAS and Texas Performing Arts’ ArtesAméricas Program have received together. In 2007, the two units were awarded a GPA grant to fund “Exploring Mexico: Performing Arts and Culture,” a program in which 15 teachers traveled to Mexico and experienced classical music concerts, cutting-edge theatre, modern dance performances, and tours of archeological and artistic sites.

Follow along starting in late June, as the educators will be keeping a blog and posting photos throughout their month-long adventure in Brazil!

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