For her end of grant report, teaching artist Sarah Kuhn, who developed the Arts Integration Program at SAGE Academy, Chatham’s alternative high school, sent us photo documentation from the program. We supported her work with a $2000 grant in Fall 2011. The artist provided hands-on creative activities that augmented core curriculum classes in English, biology, earth science, civics, algebra, geometry and world history. For example, earth science students made large representations of the four outdoors to press into the clay. When finished, the students decided to make sculptures and functional objects out of the imprinted clay. The pieces were fired using the kiln at the N.C. Arts Incubator, then painted by the students.

Another goal of the Arts Integration project was to turn the very institional cafeteria into an attractive, multi-use space for all to enjoy. Even with no budget for their work, students and staff got the job done with help from a donor of paint and supplies and instructions from a painter for the school system. All who volunteered learned about paint, painting, cleaning up and taking care of supplies. They also learned how to work together and have a good time in the process.

The artist reports that students discovered skills and passions they never knew they possessed and that many never before had positive experiences with art activities. She has given us a photo narrative from the program. She says there is no way to explain in words what the project meant to the school or the effect it will have on the entire SAGE community. Ruth Katz has the project documentation and will be delighted to share it with interested residents.