Archive for the ‘Creativity’ Category


The Sound of Music

April 2, 2020



Author and Artist Tomie dePaola Dies

April 1, 2020


In the darkness there is light this morning. I found “The Art Lesson” on the shelf and I wake to beautiful snow.
I have fond memories of reading the Strega Nona books by Tomie dePaola to my sons when they were young but my favorite book of his was “The Art Lesson”. It’s about about reaching a compromise with his teacher on drawing in class.
The book opens with Tommy knowing he wants to be an artist when he grows up and draws pictures everywhere he goes. From age 4 he knew he was going to be an artist and author.
I hope all the little artists in the world are drawing every day all day.
When Tomie was in grade 2, after drawing on his math work, he told his teacher he wasn’t going to be an “arithmetic-er”.
Tomie’s stories are timeless and I’m sure will live in the hearts of people who have grown up with them.

Many of you might know author and artist Patricia P. She was a good friend of Tomie’s and wrote this beautiful letter honoring him.

My Dears,

If you haven’t already heard I am the bearer of very sad news. I just lost a friend of 37 years, author, illustrator, story teller, artist, Tomie dePaola. Tomie passed from this life at 2:30 pm Eastern Standard Time yesterday from complications resulting from a very bad fall from the week before. Tomie was 10 years older than myself, 85. He was probably one of the most lauded and well-known children’s authors not only in our country but the whole world for that matter.

Perhaps his best-known stories were the Strega Nona series. Most children in our country were raised on, and certainly possessed several of Tomie’s books. I know my children heard and loved his stories most of their young lives. 

I remember I was thrilled some 37 years ago to not only meet him, because I had just become a published author myself, but I was fulfilling a dream to be near a person that I had admired for so many years.

I always used to say to Tomie, “you remind me so much of my father.” Although Tomie embraced his Italian lineage he was also half Irish and physically looked identical to my own Irish father.
I guess what I loved the most about him was his delicious sense of humor and the mischievous sparkle in his eyes and his Puckish grin when he was telling a particularly tasty story.
In the old days, when all of is authors travelled a lot between school visits, and most especially conventions of librarians and teachers…it was common for all of us authors at the end of the day to congregate in the hotel lounge, sip lovely wine and regale each other with tales of our experiences while out on the road. Tomie’s stories were always a little off color, irreverent, and so hilariously funny we would all fall on the floor laughing. Then Tomie would ease back in his chair and beam as he watched us struggle to breathe between guffaws.
Certainly, all of us illustrators were uncommonly influenced by his genius, his use of color and delightful composition. Each piece he did for any given book was flawless and brimmed with mirth and magic that went straight to anyone’s heart that viewed it.
I shall miss this amazing soul…truly the world is diminished that he has left us. But the glory is that his legacy shall live on as long as his wonderful work remains in print, in film in portraits and galleries.
I feel deeply honored that I knew him and called him friend.

God speed Tomie, until we meet again,
Love love love Trisha

READ ABOUT Tomie DePaola in the US News


Lockdown Les Miserables

April 1, 2020

A family in the UK – dealing with the crisis

I hope you find this is a good way to start off April! It says sooooo very much!


What the World Needs Now

March 28, 2020

Berklee Music Students Send the World ‘Love Sweet Love’


Capacity of the Arts

March 27, 2020

I can’t sleep

Thanks to teaching artist leader for creating this hopeful video to help us remember the importance of the arts.


This We Believe

March 23, 2020

Association for Middle Level Education

Call for Student Voice and Visuals

The Association for Middle Level Education is updating our foundational position paper (previously titled This We Believe), that identifies the characteristics of successful middle schools. This critical document serves as the centerpiece of exceptional middle schools around the world that are focused on shaping the best possible educational experiences for their students ages 10 to 15. We’re interested in bringing student voice and visuals to the new edition of the book, and we need your help. We’re seeking student submissions as follows:

  1. A testimonial Students can write a statement of 1000 characters or less in response to one or two prompts:
    • How has a teacher, principal, or other adult in your school had a positive influence on or encouraged you?
    • What’s your favorite thing about middle school?
  2. Two-dimensional art
    This can be any type of artwork including, but not limited to, watercolor, pencil, oil painting, photography, and digital images. The art should express the energy and culture of your middle school and should be submitted as a high-resolution photo or .jpg image. The art should be accompanied by a statement from the student about the inspiration for the art (1-4 sentences).
  3. A reflective poem.
    We’re seeking a poem either about the student, about an adult they appreciate at the school, or about their experiences in middle school.

Each student whose quote, art, and/or poetry is featured in the new book will receive a $25 Amazon gift card and their work will be displayed on and at the #AMLE20 Annual Conference, November 12-14, in National Harbor, MD.

Teachers need to be prepared to submit the art as a high resolution photo in .jpg or .eps format. Poems can be submitted as .doc or .pdf files.

Submissions are due by May 15, 2020. In August 2020, we’ll notify you if your students’ entries are selected for inclusion in the new book.



You’re Appreciated!

March 20, 2020

Arts educators everywhere

I am so moved by the energy and commitment that I know teachers have filled this week with across the state and country. I can’t find the words to express my gratitude for teachers and all school personnel. Thinking about every detail to put in place everything possible so learners and families can be supported during this challenging period.

Ken Buck is an educator in South Carolina. Earlier this week he posted this and I couldn’t have said it better. Thank you Ken Buck for sharing! Miracle workers coming together to do what is necessary for students. There’s never been any doubt in my mind who could lead our country efficiently and effectively – an educator, for sure!

We gave educators almost no notice. We asked them to completely redesign what school looks like and in about 24 hours local administrators and teachers “Apollo 13’ed” the problem and fixed it. Kids learning, children being fed, needs being met in the midst of a global crisis.

No state agency did this, no so-called national experts on curriculum. The local educators fixed it in hours. HOURS.
In fact, existing state and federal policies actually created multiple roadblocks. Local schools figured out how to do it around those too. No complaining and no handwringing – just solutions and amazingly clever plans.
Remember that the next time someone tries to convince you that schools are better run by mandates from non-educators. Remember that the next time someone tells you that teachers have it easy or try to persuade you that educators are not among the smartest, most ingenious people in society. And please never say to me again, “Those who can’t do anything else just go into teaching.”
Get out of the way of a teacher and watch with amazement at what really happens.

You can follow Ken Buck’s blog at

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