Archive for January, 2011


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The Peggy Notebaert Museum is Chicago’s gateway to urban nature and science. Redmoon could not ask for a more perfect partner and host location for the first Youth Spectacle, which is centered on a thematic exploration of youth as the NEW NATURALISTS, creating collections of their experiences in the urban ecosystem.

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The eighth grade is exploring the theme of leadership using an integrated curriculum in social studies and spectacle arts. In their social studies unit on westward expansion students took on the question “What does it take to be a pioneer?”. They compared and contrasted the life of pioneers to their current position as 8th graders; leaders in the school who are preparing to embark on a new journey as they look toward graduation.

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The seventh grade is exploring the theme of migration using an integrated curriculum in social studies and spectacle arts. In their social studies unit on westward expansion students took on the questions, “Why do people move? What is the personal effect of moving?” Students developed a series of questions to use in a one on one interview with neighbors and family members who had moved to Chicago from another location. The conducted interviews were transformed into sculptural shoe shrines that visually communicate the personal experiences of moving.

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The sixth grade is exploring the theme of building monuments using an integrated curriculum in social studies and spectacle arts.  In their social studies unit on ancient Egypt students took on the question “Who builds our cities and at what cost?” They compared and contrasted the building of the pyramids to the building of the city of Chicago. The artistic result is a series of collage sculptures that are a symbolic monument to the people who build our city.

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The third grade is exploring the theme of Chicago heroes using an integrated curriculum in social studies and spectacle arts.  In their social studies unit on Chicago history students took on the question “Who were the everyday heroes of our city?”. They examined the history of the great Chicago fire identifying the characteristics of the everyday heroes who helped to rebuild the city. Through performance exercises and shadow techniques they developed a way to visualize themselves as those everyday heroes.

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Redmoon is working in partnership with Family Focus and their partner schools in the Lawndale neighborhood. In seven-week afterschool residencies Redmoon is leading a curriculum that focuses on art making, poetry, environment, and personal identity. Together we explore the question, “What is wild?”

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In a workshop series youth used optical illusions, surreal art images, and poetry to explore the theme of perception. They created their own surreal color palette for the Chicago skyline based on their experiences in the city.  The youth also created a series of poetic writing using a poetry by removal technique.

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Redmoon is working in partnership with St. Patrick’s High School in the Portage Park neighborhood. In a nine week in-school residency with the fine arts students. Redmoon is leading a curriculum of collaborative art making, environment design, original music, and performance . The result will be a series of site installations, performance, and music for St. Patrick’s 150th Gala Event. Components of the artwork will be featured at the Youth Spectacle.

Redmoon led an eight-week arts integration residency at Franklin Fine Arts Center in the Old Town Neighborhood.  Working with two third grade teachers and the theater instructor Redmoon led a unit called My Geometry in Chicago: Mapping Perspectives that integrated geometry, theater, and shadow techniques.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EAckuOBrxIA

What it will look like…

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The event is being built through Redmoon residencies in five school and social service locations with over 750 students participating in the project. The event itself will have a visual art exhibition meets a naturalists collection as experienced through live theater. The youth created collection of curiosities magnifies everyday wonders of the Chicago urban ecosystem as experienced by young people living in our city. These renderings show what the student artwork might look like at the event.

Illustrations by Zach Perrault.