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Teachers as Artists: Get to Know Teresa Love

Die-hard lover of the arts, actor, playwright of over 50 plays, director of over 200 productions, producer, and mentor: these are roles that Teresa Love fills as she works in theatre and mentors teachers who, in turn, bring theatre to their students’ lives. Love graduated from BYU in Theatre and Media Arts, with an emphasis in Child Drama. For twenty-five years, she worked in Los Angeles, engaging in all aspects of theatre for young audiences. She also worked as an elementary drama specialist in the Fullerton School District. Since moving to Utah fifteen years ago, Love began working adjunct at…

Becoming a Teacher of the Arts

During the fall of 2019, I had the privilege of filming several elementary education majors enrolled at the McKay School as they completed projects in the BYU Arts Bridge program.  We visited the classrooms where they collaborated with elementary school teachers to integrate dance, music, drama, and visual arts with other content areas. After capturing classroom footage of their experience and the students, we interviewed them at the McKay School. The students, many of them now practicing teachers with their own classrooms, were articulate and passionate as they spoke about their experiences. As I listened, several common themes arose including…

Art Gallery in McKay Building Showcases Children Artists

Home to Brigham Young University’s McKay School of Education is what most people think of when they hear talk of the David O. McKay Building on campus. But there is more to it than that, ever since 2019 when the David O. McKay School of Education Children’s Art Gallery opened on the second floor. According to Doug Allen, who heads up the gallery, the first exhibit was shown with about 20 pieces of work from all different grade levels. The artworks were chosen by Allen and a Beverley Taylor Sorenson arts specialist in Provo School District. “We found the pieces,…

I Am a Teacher

by Christy Bryant Nielsen(Inspired by my mentor, Janet Sant) I could have been a dancerperforming on a giant stage.Moving to the music in my head or the beat of my heartas it moved me across the empty space.Gliding, Leaping, Spinning, BowingBut now I move children towards following their own dreams. I could have been an actressin the movies or on the stageHelping people feel their emotions through tears or laughter;being known by everyone on the street;Famous, Beloved, Idolized, WealthyBut now I listen to children laugh and share their feelings with me. I could have been an artistdrawing on a canvasSketching…

Women’s History Month: Mae Timbimboo Parry

Women’s History Month is a great opportunity to explore how Utah women have impacted their communities, the state, and in some cases, the nation as a whole. One such woman is Mae Timbimboo Parry who dedicated her life to truth-telling about her people, the Northwest Band of the Shoshone Nation. Mae was born in 1919 and attended boarding schools for three years in Southern California, hundreds of miles from her home in Cache Valley. The purpose of these schools was to assimilate Native children into mainstream American culture. Children like Mae were not just forbidden to speak their native tongue,…

Playgrounds: Exploring Global Play Spaces through Art

As a kid, few things were more exciting than recess. The second the bell rang I would run out to the playground to claim foursquare courts and aggressively compete in tetherball, wallball, and dodgeball. Some days I’d simply wander off the blacktop with friends searching for clover. I’ll never forget the day we dug up an old piece of a gardening hose and were convinced it was dinosaur skin! Words like dodgeball, wallball, and tetherball may be foreign to today’s children and not just because of our distance in age, but for many because of our geographical distance and cultural…

Teachers as Artists: Get to Know Heather Francis

Dancer, mathematician, educator, arts integrator, and BYU ARTS Partnership leadership team member Heather Francis is passionate about advocating for the arts for children. When Heather hears the stories of individuals who were transformed by their arts experiences at any stage of life, she is buoyed up and reminded why she works so hard to turn the wheel that many before her have been turning for so long. “The arts are essential to making meaning in our lives, for connecting with others and developing empathy. But maybe more important to me, is the ability of the arts to teach me about…

Dance for All Abilities: Instructional Strategies for Every Classroom

I like a bargain! When I get the biggest bang for my buck, a delightful feeling springs up inside of me. This is a personality trait that has stuck with me over the years. Getting the biggest bang for your buck is a mantra I live by when creating content for my students. Developing a cardio-focused version of the BrainDance, connecting dance movement to the core curriculum, and providing classroom teachers with extra movement resources are a few ways I have practiced giving educators and students a big bang for their buck.  Over the past five years, I have developed…

Self-Care Resources: Finding Strength, Resiliency, and the Ability to Flourish

We all encounter challenges in an uncertain world. Each one of us is unique, with distinctly different brains and bodies, developed in diverse environments; accordingly, the challenges we each face, and our solutions to them, are as infinitely individual as we are. This infinite individuality qualifies us to be our own best caregivers. Self-care is to intentionally take time to tend to our personal well-being; as we practice self-care, we find strength, resiliency, and the ability to flourish in the face of our unique challenges. As dance educators, we are aware that the art of dance is more than mere…

Teachers as Artists: Get to Know Jennifer Purdy

Jennifer Purdy has seen firsthand how art changes lives. Now, Jennifer is helping to change more lives by mentoring educators who are bringing the arts to their students. Jennifer is a BYU ARTS Partnership leadership team member, the program coordinator for the Arts Integration Endorsement class, and works to make sure educators learn basic art skills, learn how to teach the arts and encourage arts leadership in schools and communities.   Jennifer began taking piano lessons when she was five years old. “I had a variety of teachers, but my piano teacher, Lucille Wilson, taught me how to love music, to…

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