Arts Integration Studio offers Professional Development Training for teachers, administrators, community educators, health care professionals, parents, teaching artists, and the general public.

CURRENT PROGRAMS
School Based Programs:

Supporting a Sustainable STEAM Program at Mountain View School

This year, 5th grade teachers in Easthampton are part of a S.T.E.A.M. cohort led by Priscilla and Megan Kelly Bagg, an Easthampton Mountain View School STEAM teacher.

We began the school year working with the cohort to explore the fundamentals of Arts Integration and to develop arts integrated units on Climate & Weather and Organic Decomposition.

This Spring we have launched The Regional Flooding Project, a multi-week program designed for students to investigate the environmental, economic, and public health impacts caused by increased flooding in the Pioneer Valley. The project centers on the municipal decision-making process within the region and offers a multidimensional approach to town planning as students learn about the watershed, biodiversity, and the impact humans have on the earth and on each other. The project includes the opportunity for students to meet with a panel of regional representatives and put all their work into a final 5th grade EXPO during which each class will present their city plan to their “regional” peers.

This project is supported by grants from the Frances R. Dewing Foundation and the Easthampton Learning Foundation.

Learning the stages of pumpkin decay through embodiment. Stage II: Bloat

STEM + Arts = STEAM
the integration of Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics that emphasizes interdisciplinary learning and engages students in the 21st century skills of communication, creative & critical thinking, analysis & problem-solving, innovation, and collaboration.

Professional Development in The Springfield Public Schools

This Spring, Arts Integration Studio is working with Springfield Public Schools in support of its Portrait of a Graduate initiative. SPS describes the initiative as, “…a vision of the skills and attributes SPS students need to find success in college and career.”

In this pilot semester, AIS is working at the Springfield Conservatory of the Arts, with a Professional Learning Circle running January-May; at the Mary M. Walsh Elementary School for a ½ day of Professional Development with follow up observation and team meetings; and at the Alice B. Beal Elementary School for a one on one mentoring project.

Responses from the participants at Mary M. Walsh Elementary have been very positive, with teachers observing that the taught arts integration techniques, “Give students more independence and more movement while learning,” and are “Interactive to keep engagement & energy high.

The mentoring at Alice B. Beal Elementary includes designing a visual arts component to support an English Language Arts unit and bi-weekly meetings to support the teacher incorporating it. Now in week 5, the teacher describes the experience for the students: “It was like a little light went on the first week, they were like, okay, cool, we’re gonna make a map, you know. And then the second week, they’re like, oh, there’s a park next to the statue, we read about that…And then this week, when they did the garden, all the lights went on, and then they backtracked to a couple of connections. So that was so exciting.”

Professional Development in Pittsfield Public Schools

Since our launch, Priscilla has been working with Pittsfield Public Schools and Berkshire Educational Resources (Berk12), to provide arts integration mentorship and training to teachers in Berkshire County.

In the Fall of 2022, she was the keynote speaker and a co-workshop facilitator at the Berkshire County-Wide Arts Integration Professional Development Day. Following up on this work, Priscilla began mentoring Pittsfield Public School Arts Integration facilitators in the spring of ’23, as part of an Arts Integration Professional Learning Circle. In the fall, she again participated in the Berkshire County-Wide Arts Integration Professional Development Day on November 7th, as both a member of the Steering Committee and as a workshop facilitator.

Currently, Priscilla is working regionally on the creation of additional professional development opportunities, and will again participate in this fall’s annual P.D. day.

“The most impressive segment of the day was the presentation offered by Priscilla Kane Hellweg. It was very relevant to all Arts Integration when teaching interdisciplinary subjects.”

*This project is supported by a grant from the Pittsfield Education Enrichment Fund of the Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation.

Community Based Programs:

ARTS CORPS at the Treehouse, Year Two

Beginning in September 2023 and throughout the Spring of 2024, Arts Integration Studio has continued its Emerging Teaching Artist Program, offering embedded professional development for teaching artists during Arts Corps, our intergenerational Arts in Community program on site at the Treehouse Foundation in Easthampton.

ARTS CORPS is an 8 month long training program developed by Arts Integration Studio for college students and emerging teaching artists interested in the intersectionality of arts, education, and community well-being. The program includes arts integration training with a focus on trauma-informed and culturally relevant practices, and opportunities to attend and (co)facilitate intergenerational workshops and short residencies at the Treehouse with youth and families whose lives have been impacted by foster care, and with community elders.

Devised Theater for Strength & Resiliency

In September, Priscilla was a visiting artist at WAM, a nonprofit theater in Lenox where Arts & Activism Meet, and facilitated a day-long Devised Theater Workshop on Strength & Resiliency.

Eighteen community members squeezed into a circle in the WAM Hub on Saturday, September 23. Although we were all women-identifying, the diversity in other respects was striking, the youngest participant was 12 and the oldest were in their 80s. Some professional actors and some experiencing a performance workshop for the first time, all our eyes were on Priscilla Kane Hellweg as she created a remarkable, brave space of depth and intimacy for us to create within.”

As one participant expressed, “I was reminded of my desire to connect with others and create something beautiful together.”

WAM blog 11/27/23 by Maizy Broderick Scarpa. Feature photo by Michael Nancollas. www.wamtheatre.com

PAST PROGRAMS

Intergenerational Arts Training Program

On May 16th, Arts Integration Studio and the Treehouse Community in Easthampton came together for a Celebration of the Arts at the CitySpace Blue Room in the center of Easthampton. This event was the culmination of our 2023 Arts Corps intergenerational workshop series exploring community through the arts.

On display were personal collages, self portraits, and courage crowns created by Treehouse community participants of all ages. The event included time to view artwork and meet the artists, a theater game demonstration, the first public viewing of Treehouse Foundation’s HEROES Youth Leadership Program’s 2023 film, “A HEROES’ Vision”, and a joyful reception for all.

Arts Corps 2023

This event was made possible by a Massachusetts Cultural Council Festivals grant.

PREVIOUS WORK

Priscilla has created district-wide arts integration initiatives to support academic achievement for Amherst, Northampton, Holyoke, Springfield, and Westfield Public Schools. (2000-2021)

She has collaborated on the development of Teacher Training Institutes with numerous partners, funded by the National Endowment for the Arts, National Endowment for the Humanities, and Teaching American History grants. (2010-2021)

In addition to providing Professional Development workshops for many district-wide school systems in Massachusetts and Connecticut, Priscilla has taught at the Boch Center in Boston, the Smithsonian Institution in Washington D.C., the History Institute at the University of Massachusetts, and for the Collaborative for Educational Services in Northampton, MA. (2005-2021)

Priscilla has been adjunct faculty at Hampshire College, Mount Holyoke College, University of Hartford, and Westfield State University. (1995 – 2020)

photo credit: TedX Pioneer Valley

Institute for Arts Integration
photo credit: Enchanted Circle Theater