March and April were jam-packed for children in Kristin Chenoweth’s Artists of Promise. Over the last two months, children worked with 4 different guest artists, all in different art mediums. One of the goals of K@P is to create unique creative experiences for children that do not have ready access to them and/or need a special place to fit in. This month’s Wrap-Up is a great testament to that mission!

Printing and Clay

Kicking off in March, the K@P Kids spent a week with master printer Ricardo Sanchez, former printing professor at NSU. The children learned the intricacies of block printing and had the chance to use our fine art printmaking press during the process. They used special tools to carve out the pictures they had drawn and created their own stampable bookmarks.

This was many of the children’s first exposure to the “magic” of printing. One of the 4th graders pondered, “Why is this calming me down so much?” as she was soothed by the slow and deliberate process that makes up this artform.

The next artist, Kirsten Morehead, 302’s very own Clay Studio Manager, spent a week teaching our students clay and glazing techniques to create their own usable clay bowls. Some students even attached clay straws and feet to their bowls to make them their own unique style. Unsurprisingly, clay was a big hit with our imaginative and tactile kids.

Short Films

Last semester, local actor and comedian Ben Harper worked with our K@P Kids on improvisation and making silly skits. Wanting to expand on what they had learned, Ben was invited back to help students write, produce, and film their own short films.

Children learned about the traditional “three act structure” of stories and were challenged to write their films with only 3 scenes – one for exposition, conflict, and resolution. Students came in immediately with several off-the-wall ideas. This challenge made them think critically about their own ideas, how their stories are organized, and how to expand on them.

Children were split up into 4 groups, each making a film in a different genre – Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Horror, and Rom-Com. An important facet of K@P is a focus on collaboration and fostering a supportive and creative environment. This project came with valuable lessons for some children.

Half of the groups navigated the writing and editing process smoothly. The other half, however, struggled with meshing their visions with others in their team. Through the support of our staff, children came to the realization that when in conflict, it was best to step away, take some deep breaths, and come back with patience and respect.

You can watch one of our favorites, “Just The Two of Us”, below or watch the full playlist here.

Rooster Days Float

Last but certainly not least, we had the wonderfully imaginative Mery McNett join our students on creating their float for the upcoming Rooster Days parade. With the float representing both K@P and Arts@302, Mery used word association games to discover what the programs meant to our children.

The K@P Kids are beyond excited to be a part of the upcoming parade. Their float includes paintings representing the best parts of K@P and 302, as well as large constructed paint brushes, scissors, and other art supplies. Students have also been creating small pieces of artwork out of yarn, Perler beads, and more to hand out at the parade and spread “fun and creativity”.

You can see the completed float and the K@P Kids at the Rooster Days parade on Saturday, May 18th at 10am.

The last two months have shown just how much Kristin Chenoweth’s Artists of Promise has grown as it wraps up its second full year. We would like to give a special thanks to Broken Arrow Public Schools, Broken Arrow Neighbors, the Kristin Chenoweth Arts and Education Fund, and all other staff and parents that continue to make this program possible.

Kristin Chenoweth’s Artists of Promise (K@P for short) is a free after school art program for students with opportunity gaps. Our program introduces children to a wide variety of visual and performing arts skills. Children also develop important social and interpersonal skills. To learn more about this program and how you can support it, click here.