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icsd young artists
The Ithaca City School District (ICSD) will host a culminating gallery event for the Soul of the Earth Art Project involving third graders across the district. On January 13, 2020, third graders will visit Ithaca High School's Performing Arts Center where student work will be displayed in the lobby area. Students will get a chance to view their work and enjoy a concert by the Honey Child Soul Quintet. The group will perform songs that inspired the art work.

Teaching Artist and Honey Child Soul Quintet member Elisa S. Keeler began visiting third grade art classes in Fall 2019. Using a flute inspired by the Anasazi and Hopi people, Keeler led students through guided art exploration with the live flute music as inspiration. In collaboration with the art teachers, students learned about the history of the instrument and the cultural background of this music, also connecting to the social studies curriculum.

Keeler states, "This work with third graders at all eight elementary schools was extremely fulfilling. During each classroom visit, students dropped into a deep state of concentration and stillness as they created their works of art. It was a true collaboration. The music inspired their creations and in turn, I was incredibly impressed and inspired by their creations. Each one was so unique. Some concrete imagery, some with story lines and some were abstract and striking."

Daphne Shululu, ICSD Fine and Performing Arts Director, discussed the value of this kind of collaboration. "When art work is presented in an authentic exhibition and performance setting such as this one, third graders have the opportunity to experience the impact of their creativity and the chance to see themselves as emerging young artists."

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