Posts Tagged ‘Rob Shetterly’

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Americans Who Tell the Truth

January 9, 2019

Syracuse University curriculum connections

Students preparing for their solo performance based on one of Rob Shetterly’s paintings.

If you are a Maine Arts Education blog follower you know that I’ve included a handful of posts on Americans Who Tell the Truth and artist Robert Shetterly. The last post Americans Who Tell the Truth in Syracuse included information on the 238 portraits of Rob’s that were on display at Syracuse University.

I followed up with Connie Carter who works with Rob visiting Maine schools who are using the paintings in multiple ways. I was curious how a higher education institute was tapping into this incredible body of work. Fortunately, it was a question that Rob and Connie asked as well and videos have been created on the topic. Raw footage for the most part that are posted on Vimeo can be found at the links below.

Steve and Rob conversing about the Solo Creations course work.

Jim Clark from the theater department at Syracuse University was interviewed and speaks very clearly about the power of the portraits for students in the creative arts and beyond. CLICK HERE to view the interview and use the password AWTTClark.

The second video includes an incredible interview with Steve Cross, professor of Visual and Performing Arts at Syracuse University. He teaches a required course titled: Solo Creations that uses the portraits to explore ideas about creating a solo piece. The video includes performances by a couple of his students so you can see the outcomes of the work with Mr. Shetterly’s paintings. CLICK HERE to view the interview with Steve and his students performances. Use the password AWTTCross. 

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Samantha Smith Challenge

November 28, 2018

Americans Who Tell the Truth

Americans Who Tell the Truth and MAMLE are excited to announce that the registration for the 2018-19 Samantha Smith Challenge (SSC) is now open! As we launch the fifth year of the Challenge, we are excited to know that middle school students across Maine will be tackling important issues and modeling for all of us what it means to be an engaged citizen.
What is the Samantha Smith Challenge?
The Samantha Smith Challenge (SSC) is an American Who Tell the Truth (AWTT), MAMLE & Thomas College Initiative designed to build a bridge between the classroom and the world, teaching students to identify, study, and work to solve the challenges and problems they see around them in their communities. Participants will hear from past SSC participants and learn how to bring the Samantha Smith Challenge to their classrooms and help students use the curriculum to turn global concerns into positive action while connecting to standards.
This year’s focus
We are especially enthusiastic that this year’s SSC will focus on the different aspects of individual and group identities as students learn to become engaged, change-making citizens. We are asking SSC students to think first about their own identity, considering identities that, for the most part, are unchangeable — race, ethnicity, gender, age — and also those identities they can choose –beliefs, clothing styles, groups they join, issues they engage, etc. How do these characteristics affect expectations they have for themselves and expectations others have for them?
Then, as they look around, in their community or across the state, nation, and world, think about these identities and expectations affect others. How does this combination of identify and expectation connect to the justice and equity issues they see?
This year’s celebration
Mark your calendars for this year’s celebration which will be held on Monday, June 3, 2018. Besides having the opportunity to share important work on many social justice issues, there will be a great program that emphasizes how important youth activism is to our world.

As in past years, Robert Shetterly and I will be available to do workshops with your students. It is always a highlight to meet your students and experience their energy for their chosen issues.

REGISTER and LEARN MORE

We look forward to working with you and your students as you engage in the Fifth Samantha Smith Challenge! Please contact me if you have any questions or concerns.
Tomorrow’s blog post is provided by a teacher whose classroom participated in the Samantha Smith Challenge.
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Ashley Bryan’s World

September 10, 2016

Film created by Richard Kane

Painting by Rob Shetterly

Painting by Rob Shetterly

I Know a Man … Ashley Bryan (2016, 73 min.) and Ashley Bryan’s World  (2016, 32 min) is a story about this 93-year-old spiritually deep creative wonder who served in an all-Black battalion in WWII and experienced the horrible carnage of D-Day.  As a result he dedicated his life to art — creating beauty and joy, spreading love and awe.  He’s a poet/illustrator of over 50 children’s books, makes magical puppets and sea glass windows from found objects inspired by his African heritage. Ashley lives on the remote Cranberry Islands, Maine and has been using art his entire life to celebrate joy, mediate the darkness of war and racism, explore the mysteries of faith, and create loving community.  His life story and the art he makes from this wellspring of experience is an inspiration to people of all ages.

The film opens with Ashley telling a hilarious story from his new book Can’t Scare Me to awestruck children.  But soon after the film delves into the horrors he experienced in World War II at D-Day.  “When you experience the tremendous carnage,” he asks, “Why does man choose war … that destroys everything you’ve built up?  I lived through the time of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and that did it.” The film then explores his world as an African American experiencing racism from early on when his father “was given the mop and the broom”, a reference to the 1943 Gordon Parks photograph.  He quotes Marian Anderson admonishing “to keep another down you have to hold them down, and therefore cannot rise and soar to the potential within you.”  He takes comfort in and spreads beauty through the spiritual content of his art – his linocut prints exhorting “Let My People Go” and his beautiful sea glass windows of the Evangelists Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.  So we begin to see his art as his way of spreading joy and peace in a less than perfect world.

Viewing opportunities
Reel Pizza, Bar Harbor

MIFF-By-the-Sea Film Festival

I Know a Man … Ashley Bryan (73 min.)

September 17   1:15pm

September 19   6:15pm

Camden International Film Festival

Rockport Opera House

Ashley Bryan’s World (32 min.)

September 18   10am

Stonington Opera House

I Know a Man … Ashley Bryan (73 min.)

September 22   7pm

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Americans Who Tell the Truth PD Opportunity

September 24, 2012

Interested in learning more about Americans Who Tell the Truth and Operation Breaking Stereotypes?

Samantha Smith

Americans Who Tell the Truth, Operation Breaking Stereotypes and Waterfall Arts invite you to a free professional development workshop, “Inspiring Citizenship and Student Performance”. The workshop will be held at Waterfall Arts, Belfast, Thursday, October 18, 3:30 – 7 pm for K-12 educators. This is an opportunity to frame your course content in a meaningful real world context as you guide your students to become informed, courageous citizens.

A selection of Rob Shetterly’s Americans Who Tell the Truth (AWTT) portraits are on exhibit at Waterfall Arts through October 31. Apart from being inspiring and stimulating paintings, they have, over the past decade, proven to be accessible and effective classroom tools, especially in the visual and performing arts, social studies, history, and English/language arts disciplines.

Dorothea Lange

Be part of a presentation and conversation about how AWTT materials have and can be employed in classrooms to increase student interest and performance. In Louisville, Kentucky, where the portraits have been a part of public school curricula for four years, students have demonstrated improved attendance, retention and performance. This workshop will acquaint you with AWTT, its educational resources, connections to content and standards, and ways to use this material in your school and classroom.

Presenters include AWTT founder, Rob Shetterly, AWTT portrait subject Florence Reed and Karen MacDonald of the King Middle School in Portland, Maine.

If you are interested in attending click here for registration. If you have questions please contact Connie Carter at conniecarter21@gmail.com. The space is limited to the first 40 educators. Suggest this to other teachers in your building or district and consider attending as a team – administrator, content area teachers, students – whatever you feel constitutes a “team” at your school!

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Americans Who Tell the Truth

August 23, 2012

Meeting with Rob Shetterly

Last week I had the chance to meet with Connie Carter of Operation Breaking Stereotypes. Since 2002, Operation Breaking Stereotypes (OBS), a non-profit, service-based organization working with schools in Maine, Boston, and New York City to help students address ethnic, socio-economic, gender, and racial stereotypes through writing, reading, music, photography, and personal connections.

We met with Aran and Robert Shetterly to talk about their work Americans Who Tell the Truth. (AWTT) Americans Who Tell the Truth = Models of Courageous Citizenship. AWTT is dedicated to the belief that a profound sense of citizenship is the only safeguard of democracy and the best defense of our social, economic, and environmental rights. Through portraits and stories of exemplary American citizens, both historical and contemporary, AWTT teaches the courage to act for the common good. Its powerful educational programs promote our country’s ideals, illuminate the necessary work of the present, and inspire hope in the future.

You might know Rob Shetterly’s work. A handful of years ago Rob was at Haystack for the fall Maine Art Educators conference. I remember thinking “wow” what a difference this man is making in the world. He is able to select individuals (and paint them) who get to the heart of a topic in the most truthful and honest ways. His work really “speaks” and I think it would be a gift to have these paintings surround us in our living spaces every day.

Rob’s son, Aran, is working with his Dad to bring the work into schools and educational settings in a more formal way. AWTTs new website is filled with information that you may find useful, certainly interesting.

In the near future they will be offering regional professional development opportunities for educators to take a close up look at the paintings, the people in the paintings, and the teachers and perhaps students who have been fortunate to hear from Rob in classrooms across Maine. Aran, Rob, and Connie are in the process of planning these events. I am grateful to know that more students, teachers, and schools will have this opportunity in the near future.

Watch for information on meartsed blog about these professional development opportunities and if you have questions please contact Aran at aran@americanswhotellthetruth.org.

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