Vermilionville awarded $25,000 NEA grant - KLFY News 10

Vermilionville awarded $25,000 NEA grant

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 NEA Art Works Grant awarded to Vermilionville for Folk & Traditional Arts

The Vermilionville Foundation will support a year-long partnership between the Vermilionville Living History Museum and Folklife Park with two schools in Lafayette Parish. Together they will develop a network of educators and students engaged in using regional culture, history, language and folklife to improve student learning and connect community with curriculum.  

Because students study local and regional history in 3rd and 8th grades, Vermilionville staff will work with an elementary school and a middle school through an ongoing learning community to develop folklife integration approaches across the school curriculum. Because folklife is inherently interdisciplinary, teachers of Social Studies, English Language Arts, Science, Math, French and the arts are invited to develop rich curricular connections with the site and its programming.  

In the context of this project, Vermilionville is partnering with Local Learning: The National Network for Folk Arts in Education to provide teachers with a two-day professional development workshop in July 22-23, 2013 at Vermilionville's Folklife Park. Participants will learn about folklife and how to use it as an engaging spring board to teach core curriculum. The workshop will be an exciting hands-on immersion experience with folklorists, master teachers, and local artists. Topics will include teaching the interview process, traditional crafts and music of the region, using folklife to address the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) and easily accessible resources for the classroom. 

Following the summer training, participants will work in teams during the 2013-14 school year to implement lessons that merge local resources and the CCSS. Those engaged in the project will receive a stipend, in-service credit, artist classroom residencies, multimedia resources, lesson plans and free admission to a variety of Vermilionville events. Their students' work will be displayed at Vermilionville in May 2014. Through their work in this project, teams will inform development of a model that will help Vermilionville to partner effectively with additional schools in coming years.  

This initiative dovetails with an on-going pilot project that pairs University of Louisiana education students with Lafayette Parish elementary and middle school students to develop and field test standards-based lessons and activities for the thousands of students from around the state who visit Vermilionville annually. The project will also tap into the extensive online education guide Louisiana Voices, produced by the Louisiana Folklife Program of the Division of Cultural Affairs.  

The lead writer of Louisiana Voices, Paddy Bowman, will direct the summer workshop and collaborate with teachers and artists throughout the year. As Director of Local Learning, she worked locally to develop and guide a very successful folklife-integrated project from 2009 to 2012 called Local Learning in Lafayette, pairing folk artists, teaching artists and teachers for classroom residencies that introduced middle and high school students to folklife and interviewing.

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