LEWISTON-AUBURN — L/A Arts proudly announces the launch of four spring teaching artist residencies in Lewiston and Auburn public schools: mural-painting, weaving, African drumming and Maine Writes Poetry Slam.

Throughout each school year, the organization coordinates and supports arts residencies and performances in L-A public schools with professional arts educators working in dance, visual arts, music, poetry and other disciplines. Arts in Education has been at the heart of the organization’s work for over three decades because they believe that learning comes alive through creativity. With this belief in mind, L/A Arts intends to grow its programming so that by 2020, every Lewiston-Auburn student will have access to Arts in Education programming each year.

The spring residencies close out an already successful year for Arts in Education programs in L-A. Overviews of spring programs follow. These programs are not open to the general public.

Mural Painting: Montello Elementary students with teaching artist Natasha Mayers. Students will explore the process of creating murals and the role these artworks play in enhancing shared spaces. Participants will strengthen their drafting and painting abilities as they create a dozen 4- by 8-foot murals that will be hung throughout the school. Murals will reflect the array of different countries that students choose to study for this project, representing the multiple values and identities of the school community.

Weaving: Martel Elementary students with teaching artist Sarah Haskell. Students will learn and develop fine motor skills, visual arts techniques and showcase their self-expression in the creation of woven artistic works — in this case, a large-scale woven mandala, a geometric-patterned piece which represents the colors and identities of the students and their school. The residency will integrate social studies and literacy curricula, where the analysis and study of stories inherent to the craft of weaving act as inspiration for hands-on learning.

African Drumming: Longley Elementary students with teaching artist Annegret Baier. Participating students will explore the culture, history, and traditions of West African drumming. In addition to a social study of the region, students will investigate the dynamics of drumming as an artform, including polyrhythms, improvisation and musical timing. To complement this, a dance specialist will teach the students the basics of West African dance. The residency will culminate in student performances.

Maine Writes Poetry Slam: Bronx Showcase: Edward Little High students with teaching artist Josh Vink and classroom teacher Jill Hyland

Maine Writes students study the poetic form through analysis, writing and performance. With hands-on exercises, students learn diverse styles and writing processes, and apply them by creating poems which have strong personal points of view. This year’s Edward Little class will be traveling to New York City to compete in a Global Writes poetry competition. For more information on this competition, visit www.globalwrites.org.

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