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History

 

       Since 1992, ArtsBank has been serving the children of Randolph County, WV with hands-on art experiences for students in every elementary school. After Art teachers were eliminated in 1988 concerned parents, artists and educators formed a group to support a short residency in each elementary school. This popular program brings multimedia experiences such as drawing, painting, collage, drama, movement, creative writing, singing, pottery, puppetry, printmaking and design into the classroom. ArtsBank has had special programs for the middle and high school students at times although currently serves eight elementary school and when able provides middle school students The Arts and the Earth program.

 

      In 1999, ArtsBank and Randolph County were recognized nationally for being an outstanding program in arts-in-education.

 

    ArtsBank currently offers an extended arts program in addition to the enrichment support program at undeserved elementary schools in the county, utilizing practicing artists as instructors.

 

       In 2012, ArtsBank initiated and developed a successful program in collaboration with Experience Learning, formerly the Mountain Institute, called “Earth and the Arts” where seventh grade students spent three days and two nights studying, observing, and researching the West Virginia wilderness at Spruce Knob. This was a collaborative program with The Mountain Institute Staff, local scientists and ArtsBank teaching artists. In September 2012, 2013, and 2014 ArtsBank took students to Spruce knob for a 3 day, 2 night stay at Experience Learning. In the fall of 2015 - 2019 ArtsBank continued the program in the Fox Forest Wildlife Management Area in Elkins WV as a day program. While there, students engaged in a variety of integrated science and art activities in an out of classroom experiential environment. Last year funding was obtained to expand the program throughout the school year, from the Clay Foundation out of Charleston, WV.

        Right now, ArtsBank, Inc. is in need of both volunteer and financial support to keep the energy and operations of this county-wide program moving forward and expanding. As an all-volunteer project we find it impressive how generous the artists and community are in both donations and dollars. Your support makes this program possible. You can also participate in the RUN for IT fundraising event as an ArtsBank team member!

 

Arts Bank Inc. is looking forward to the 2022/2023 school year!

Contact us today to help us.

Question & Answers

1. "How is ArtsBank affiliated with the schools?"
ArtsBank, Inc. is a community-based non-profit corporation.  We have a standing Memorandum of Understanding with the Randolph County Board of Education.  We must abide by the policies and procedures of the WV State Board of Education and of the local Board. The ArtsBank Program Director reports directly to the Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum.

2. “Are ArtsBank artists required to have a teaching certificate?”
For our Teaching Artists employed we require a Baccalaureate degree, preferably in art, but a teaching certification is not necessary.  We base our selection of teaching artists on their artistic skills and a demonstrated ability to teach within their art form. For more information about the Teaching Artist field please visit, the Teaching Artist Guild Website.

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3. “What grade levels does ArtsBank teach?”
ArtsBank serves all the public elementary schools in Randolph County.  Sometimes the teaching artists will request to work with a particular age group, in which case they will visit several schools, instructing that age group throughout the year.

When ArtsBank has adequate funding and availability of instructors, the Program Director will coordinate residencies in all the schools, placing teaching artists at a school in a team teaching format to create an intensive and fluid ArtsBank experience.

4. "Why do we need ArtsBank?"
A comprehensive arts education draws on the expertise of credentialed teaching artists as well as County Schools’ regular faculty, upon the experiences of professional artists, and community cultural centers and arts organizations.  By utilizing all of these resources, students have the opportunity to achieve the full educational potential of the arts. Arts education experiences enable all students to demonstrate their ability to think creatively, critically and analytically through the process of hands-on art activities.

5. “Does an ArtsBank Residency go through the whole school year?”
Programs vary in schedule and length. The residency is tailored to the school in conversations between the teaching artist assigned to the school and the principal.

6. “When is the Student Art Exhibit?”
The student art exhibit is held in May.  The Arts Center  hosts the exhibit in the Great Hall and is a collaborative exhibition between the school teachers, ArtsBank teaching artists and the RCCAC employees and volunteers.

7. “When is the next Teachers Workshop?”
We have a summer seminar for our teaching artists every year. If you are interested in attending, contact Scottie Wiest or leave a message at 304-636-3625.

If you have additional questions please send a message to The Arts Bank Program Director!

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