Our Programs

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…

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…

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…

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…

Teachers as Artists: Get to Know Cindy Clark

“The arts make the world worth living in and help define purpose.”   Cindy Clark, BYU ARTS Partnership leadership team member, visual artist, singer (in the shower), piano player and teacher, works hard to ensure that teachers and future teachers feel comfortable and successful with the visual arts.   Cindy is currently helping participants in the Arts Integration Endorsement classes to get more comfortable with an art form. For example, everyone in the class recently played with watercolors in their personal sketchbooks. “We talked about sketchbooks/journals, and used watercolors as background or borders for our journals,” Cindy said. “Plus, we threw in…

M ‘art’ ch Madness

What Is M ‘art’ ch Madness?Do you know anyone between age 5 and 18 who would love to win a pair of AirPods? That’s what K-12 students may win by entering our M’art’ch Madness competition! Sponsored by the Arts for Life Utah initiative and the professional arts organizations across the state of Utah, M’art’ch Madness is a multidisciplinary art competition that invites students to submit a work of art on the theme Arts for Life. Submissions from drama, dance, visual art, music, and literary arts are accepted. How Do I Get Started? We created prompts to help get the creative…

Arts Bridge Scholar: Jessica Jensen at Brookhaven Elementary

The Power of a Name: There were so many benefits to simply learning student’s names that I would implore future arts bridge scholars to make this a priority! Set aside a few minutes at the beginning of each class to learn and remember each of the student’s names. They will know you care about them, focus, and understand you as a teacher so much better. This semester I had the opportunity to participate in the Arts Bridge Scholar program. I was placed at an elementary school in Eagle Mountain where I taught 6th graders dance while integrating some of their…

Arts Bridge Scholar: Mattie Davis at Brookhaven Elementary

I am a Dance Education major and this semester I taught sixth graders at Brookhaven Elementary. During my time at Brookhaven I saw a couple of different teachers and classrooms, as I rotated classrooms every couple of weeks. Because of this rotation, I had the opportunity to revisit my lessons and revise them to create an even more effective program. My lessons focus on dance concepts based on the B.E.S.T. (Body, Energy, Space, Time) principles. I strongly believe that teaching dance to children has many benefits that carry into their lives outside of the classroom. Dance helps students develop kinesthetic…

Arts Bridge Scholar: Deanna Nielson at Brookhaven Elementary

My name is Deanna Nielson. I am an Art Education major, and I will be completing my student teaching next semester and plan to graduate in April 2021. This is my third semester being involved in Arts Bridge, and I love this program. I have really enjoyed teaching, having fun with the students, and learning from the teachers I have worked with. I believe that visual art is an extremely beneficial aspect of education, so I am so grateful to have the opportunity to help elementary teachers integrate art into their classrooms! Sixth Grade Mrs. Sweeney’s class has been learning…

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