Tempe awards local teachers, aspiring artists with grant funding for arts programs

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The arts make Tempe a better city. They create a sense of place and help attract visitors. They capture the city’s eclectic identity. Studies even show that students who study art in school are recognized more frequently for academic achievement.  These are just a few of the reasons why Tempe is so committed to supporting the creative efforts of local teachers and artists through its arts grant funding programs.

Nineteen teachers at 15 Tempe schools received a School Arts Grant for their proposed projects, which include supplies for student self-portraits, new instruments, a workshop for advanced art students and numerous music programs that span several genres and cultures. Grant funds were awarded up to $750 per project.

Six aspiring local artists and arts-related organizations received a Vibrant City Grant and will spend the next year working as part of a cohort led by city arts experts. A series of workshops, strategic planning sessions, and one-on-one meetings will help artists develop a community project from start to finish. They will learn the ins and outs of fundraising, creating timelines, budgets, contracts and marketing strategies.  The result will be a new and sustainable arts experiences for the Tempe community. Grant funds were awarded up to $1,000 per artist.

Vibrant City Grant Recipients

Michelle Marji: Dance artist, social activist, teacher and choreographer with an emphasis on improvisational practice and awareness of her social landscape.

The Rae Lydia Project: Acts to inspire and educate Tempe’s homeless population, offering music to those who have the least access to it and need it the most.

Diane Silver: Contemporary mixed media artist whose artwork explores the fragile nature of memory through paintings based on her recollections and installations of our collective memories.

Wicked Pitch of the West: Women’s multi-generational a cappella group brings music into informal community settings.

Red Beach:  Empowers younger generations by providing resources to cultivate their creative expression by providing clothing, food, shelter and artistic entertainment.

Tempe Artist Guild: Passionate non-profit group focused on about creating art, becoming better artists, displaying artists’ work, and doing art-related service projects that benefit Tempe residents.

School Arts Grant Recipients

Compadre Academy: Courtney Darby; Visual Art – Funding will be used for art supplies for a self-portraiture project. The project intends to increase self-acceptance and help students envision a successful future for themselves.

Connolly Middle School: Philip Lemar; Music – Students have high interests in pursuing double reed instruments in the music program. Grant funds will be used for resident artists Charlotte Ethington (oboe) and Dr. Kristlynn Woods (bassoon) to provide master classes.

Curry Elementary: Mary-Jo Okawa; Music – This grant will fund materials needed for a drumming club called Bucket Brigade. The club will be used to increase student’s knowledge of reading music, practicing rhythm, and performing in an ensemble.

Curry Elementary: Kelly Raymond; Music – Ms. Raymond is an itinerant band teacher across seven elementary schools. Grant funds will be used for a projector that she can have to create better teaching spaces within the different settings.

Fees College Preparatory Middle School: Eric Best; Music – Mr. Best is initiating a Jam Band, which will be comprised of jazz, rock, and pep band music. Funds will be used for pep band music and updated jazz pieces.

Fees College Preparatory: Anne Bushman; Music – Fees runs a successful guitar program for grades 6-8. Grant funds will be used for providing additional equipment like strings, song books, and guitar tuners.

Fees College Preparatory Middle School: Hailey Hatch; Visual Art – The school’s Art Club is pursuing a t-shirt design project for students to have Spirit Day apparel. This grant allows for a Silhouette Cameo machine to create physical stencils of the student’s designs.

Fuller Elementary: Erik Whitehill; Music – The music room needs updated speakers that are compatible with the classroom’s new Smart Board.

Fuller Elementary: Katherine Klimut; Music – The grant will fund a Yamaha P-45 electric piano to replace the current, outdated one.

Gililland Middle School: Paige Reesor; Visual Art – The Advanced Art Class will work with local artist Antoinette Cauley in a two-week workshop. Funds will support supplies and artist payment.

Holdeman Elementary: Shawna Blazer; Performing Art – The fourth-grade class will lead a production of Where the Wild Things Are in April 2019. The grant will fund art supplies needed for creating sets, and condenser microphones for the performance.

Hudson Elementary: Diane Sippel; Music – Ms. Sippel’s music room needs a new audio system to replace the current low-power portable CD player.

Kyrene Muddle School: Julio Contreras; Music – The Mariachi program for grades 6-8 needs music and uniform accessories, like bow ties, hair bows, sashes, and sombreros, for performances.

Laird School: Anne Tinklenberg-Peters; Music – The instrumental teachers at Laird would like to create a more substantial music library including 14 pieces of music, 7 for band and 7 for orchestra.

McClintock High School: Stacy Marko; Visual Art – The grant will be used to support alumnus and artist Nick Rascona and his workshop with the advanced art students. Funding is for supplies needed for the campus mural.

New School for the Arts & Academics: Kyllan Maney; Visual Art – The school puts on a monthly Community Art Night that needs funding for new guest artists and supplies.

Rover Elementary: Karen Kuehmann; Music – The music program needs new recorders to use with the classroom’s Smart Board technology. The updated instruments will connect music with visuals and opportunity for their own music compositions.

Tempe Preparatory Academy: Clay Sanderson; Performing Art – The school is presenting a student-led production of The Secret Garden in Spring 2019 and need funding for sets and costumes.

Waggoner Elementary: Ellen Pope; Visual Art – Students will assist in creating a 48 x 3-foot mosaic focusing on their “no place for hate” theme. Funding will be used for supplies and tools.

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