Here’s another nice story about using the arts to inspire kids who are turned off by school in troubled districts.
Writes Patricia Cohen at the NY Times, “Stationed in front of one of his large self-portraits, the artist Chuck Close raised his customized wheelchair to balance on two wheels, seeming to defy the laws of gravity. The chair’s unlikely gymnastics underlined the points that Mr. Close was making to his audience, 40 seventh and eighth graders from Bridgeport, Conn.: Break the rules and use limitations to your advantage.
“The message had particular resonance for these students, and a few educators and parents, who had come by bus on Monday from Roosevelt School to the Pace Gallery in Chelsea for a private tour of Mr. Close’s show. Roosevelt, located in a community with high unemployment and crushing poverty, recently had one of the worst records of any school in the state, with 80 percent of its seventh graders testing below grade level in reading and math.
“Saved from closure by a committed band of parents, the school was one of eight around the country chosen last year to participate in Turnaround Arts, a new federally sponsored public-and-private experiment that puts the arts at the center of the curriculum.”
Read about the reactions of the students — and more at the NY Times.
Photograph: Kirsten Luce for the NY Times
The artist Chuck Close giving a private tour of his show to students from Bridgeport, Conn.