Arts Are Basic Completes Second Year with Doane

Group Plans Lincoln Garden Tour Event

Arts Are Basic held its annual workshop at Doane July 25th through the 29th for the second year since leaving the UNL campus.

Arts Are Basic (AAB) is a training program in aesthetic education that offers year-round benefits to teachers and their students. As a partner program of Doane College's Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning (CETL), AAB trains teachers to promote learning and growth through the arts. The workshop helps teachers learn how to use visual and performing arts as a way to engage students in learning.AAB

More than 25 teachers attended this year's program, along with two Master Teaching Artists and multiple Nebraska Teaching Artists.

The theme for this year was "Reliving the Harlem Renaissance." The program focused mainly on music and photography, although the workshop incorporates all fine and performing arts.

Carol Knolle-Faulkner, a 4th grade teacher at Cavett Elementary in Lincoln, has been coming to AAB workshops for nearly 20 years.

 "[Arts Are Basic] is a new way of working with students through the arts," Knolle-Faulkner said. "But it's also a way of focusing on process and using your imagination; your creativity and the artistic process to reach a goal."

After the AAB program, teaching artists will visit schools throughout the year, showing teachers and classrooms how to incorporate art into their curriculum.

Rhea Gill, an instructor of dance at Doane, is also the Arts Are Basic director, and has been involved in AAB for 11 years.

"As the director, I see the effect the arts have in the classroom," Gill said. "The arts are able to engage both teachers and students, and they trigger different parts of the brain when learning."

During one day of the workshop, the teachers were given a presentation by Soul Lyrical, who performed their piece "Chant of Harlem," which incorporated music, poetry, spoken word, and other forms of art. Later this year, the group will perform in front of students from the various attending schools.

This year, AAB is also sponsoring a new Garden Tour Event, "Growing Classrooms Beyond the Predictable," from 1 to 4 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 4.  The ticket cost is $10, which will allow entrance into all of the featured gardens. Children 12 and under are free.

Nebraska Teaching Artist Liz Shea-McCoy, who is also the president of the AAB Boards, said this was the board's first garden tour event, and features six gardens in Lincoln.

Artists will be present at the gardens, selling pieces of their work. In addition, four of the gardens will have master gardeners present who will answer questions and share knowledge of the various landscapes. Guests can enjoy a variety of performing artists as they stroll through each garden.

For questions about the Garden Tour, contact Liz Shea-McCoy at

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