Art Talk Monday

On October 6, the North Central Louisiana Arts Council (NCLAC) will be bringing My Vision, My Voice to Arcadia High School. My Vision, My Voice is a cross-disciplinary, literacy building workshop for high school students that focuses on building confidence of expression through both visual and written language.   The workshop is one of NCLAC’s MARK (Making Art Reach Kids) programs and is based on Literacy Through Photography, a highly successful program that originated in Durham, NC, in 1990. The My Vision, My Voice workshop supports NCLAC's mission by fostering creative expression, and by giving students a chance to celebrate not just who they are, but who they can become. Bienville Parish is one of five parishes served by NCLAC's educational programming.

Twelve students will learn photography basics while strengthening their writing skills in this four part, month long project. NCLAC staff members are excited about the workshop, as it began in 2009 but was on hold for 2010 due to state funding cuts. This year, we will be partnering with Peggy Taylor of Bienville Parish School Board and the 21st Century Community Learning Centers (21st CCLC) Program. The 21st CCLC provides academic enrichment opportunities, specifically for those who attend high-poverty, low-performing schools. The pairing of NCLAC and the 21st CCLC will provide Arcadia High School students an after-school environment where they can learn new ways of communication through the combination of arts and literacy. The workshop will both enhance and expand their writing curriculum, with weekly projects exploring the themes of self-portrait, family and friends, and dreams.

My Vision, My Voice will be taught by a team of teachers from Louisiana Tech University. Photography graduate students, Ashley Feagin, Dan Snow and Caleb Clark, will teach the photography portions of the class. Dacia Idom, an art and journalism senior, will instruct the students on the writing assignments. Jes Schrom, Assistant Professor of Art, will coordinate and oversee the student teachers on site.

Visual arts are not taught at Arcadia High School, and scholarly research shows that students who participate in the Arts are more likely to exhibit leadership and community involvement, and to develop a confident, solid work ethic.

The workshop will end with an exhibition and reception of the high school students' work at the Woodard Room in Arcadia's First National Bank on November 3. The photographs and writings will be presented for participants and their families to view and discuss, giving students further opportunity to practice the art dialogue begun in class.