Saturday, 14 May 2011

Climate Change and the Arts: Teaching the Teachers at Olang Arts Park

As a volunteer workshop coordinator, I collaborated with the workshop lead facilitator Alma Quinto in preparing this PR material with whom I am flying with to Dumaguete then a boat ride to Siquijor tomorrow. Original material is in soft and hard copy with logos and can be read as follows:

Olang Arts Park (OAP) is a three-hectare eco art space located in Barangay Olang, Maria, Siquijor Island.  Founded in December 2005 by Eufemia”Minnie” Crouse, it is envisioned to be a sanctuary for artists and environmentalists to create and collaborate and a space for exhibits, performances, workshops, seminars and art festivals.  It is open to the people of Siquijor to hone their talents in the arts and develop sensitivity towards care for the environment as well as to be a common ground for artists and advocates outside of Siquijor to interact with the local community as a way of cultural exchange.  Since its inception, the space has already served as a venue for various art workshops with children conducted by visiting artists and art educators.

As a collaborative project with the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA), the Department of Education  and Siqujjor State College and in partnership with the World Bank, Oxfam and Museo Pambata, a capability building workshop for teachers in Siquijor is scheduled on May 16 to 19, 2011 at Olang Arts Park with the theme: “Climate Change and the Arts: An Integrated Learning Experience for Teachers”. This workshop is basically ARTS ACROSS THE CURRICULUM, integrating science, values, local history and social studies into the arts to make teaching more animated and exciting and introduce science concepts in a creative way.  There are three simultaneous workshops in Music, Visual Arts and Theatre Arts with 25 participants attending per workshop with the following resource persons:  Dr. Belen D. Calingacion, from the Department of Speech Communication and Theater Arts in UP Diliman, Prof. Dennis Gupa, Assistant Professor of Theater at UP Los Banos and Theater Director in Southern Luzon, Ms. Aileen dela Cruz, a Music Teacher who graduated Cum Laude from UP Diliman, and Ms. Alma B. Quinto, visual artist and facilitator for NCCA’s Artists for Crisis and DepEd’s Special Program for the Arts. We believe that teaching the teachers has a multiplier effect and will ensure sustainability by integrating the modules learned in the elementary and high school curriculum.

It is expected that at the end of the 4-day workshop, the participants are able to: 1)  grasp the basic and relevant concepts related to climate change and the arts; 2) create and appreciate works that reflect issues related to climate change using mostly found objects and natural materials; 3) develop relevant modules using the arts to explain the concepts and issues of climate change which can be used in their respective schools; 4) produce simple and creative performances and artworks that depict environmental issues or themes through the process of integration and collaboration; 5)  plant trees as an initial action for a better environment. 

The workshop culminates in the presentation of workshop outputs on May 19, 2011 and we have invited the local community to be the audience and to join us in tree planting as a way to ensure more shade and a better environment.  This is to be followed by the formal opening of the park and the premiere showing of the short documentary film “Traffic Life” directed by Minnie Solomon Crouse, which depicts her choice to settle in Siquijor Island.    

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