Some great work is happening at schools around the Gorge with our teaching artists... see more on our Facebook page >>
Hood River Valley High School English student creating scenes
for a digital story.
Wy'east Middle School students created a stunning Heritage Quilt Mural during the Excel After-school program with teaching artist,
Allison Bell Fox.
May Street Elementary Music Camp included iPad Garage Band sessions with teaching artist Miko Ruhlen.
Teaching Artist Allison Bell Fox created an amazing mural in the Gorge with the students at Centerville School in Washington.
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Great fun was had by all at our first TASK party on First Friday, July 5th. We're already looking forward to our next TASK event - stay tuned!
What is TASK?
TASK is an improvisational event with a simple structure and very few rules. All TASK structures, the events, parties and workshops rely on the same basic infastructure: a variety of props and materials (cardboard, plastic bags, pencils, tables cling wrap, tape, markers, ladders…) and the participation of people who agree to follow two simple, procedural rules: to write down a task on a piece of paper and add it to a designated “TASK pool,” and, secondly, to pull a task from that pool and interpret it any which way he or she wants, using whatever is on (or potentially off) stage. When a task is completed, a participant writes a new task, pulls a new task, and so on.
TASK’s open-ended, participatory structure creates almost unlimited opportunities for a group of people to interact with one another and their environment. TASKs’ flow and momentum depend on the tasks written and interpreted by it’s participants. In theory anything becomes possible. The continuous conception and interpretation of tasks is both chaotic and purpose driven. It is a complex, ever shifting environment of people who connect with one another through what is around them. It is also a platform for people to express and test their own ideas in an environment without failure and success (TASK always is what it is) or any other preconceptions of what can or should be done with an idea or a material. People’s tasks become absorbed into other people’s tasks, objects generated from one task are recycled into someone else’s task without issues of ownership or permanence. [ from Oliver Herring Task ]
Teaching Artist Pam Springer recently worked with students at Centerville School on her Primitive Clay workshop.
Teaching Artists Shelley Toon Hight and Courtney Berens were at Hood River Middle School last week working with 6th graders during state testing... such a fun way to counterbalance the stress of testing week!
The Steighner Arts Education Award
Musical heights: HRV Music Director Mark Steighner (center) was recently presented with the newly minted “Steighner Arts Education Award” created in his honor. The award will also be presented to future recipients who, like Steighner, dedicate their lives to excellence in arts and education. Shelley Toon-Hight (left) of Columbia Gorge Arts in Education presented the award along with music teacher Rebecca Nederhiser (right), and (not pictured) HRV Principal Karen Neitzel and HRMS Principal Brent Emmons. They are surrounded by HRMS students who recently performed one of Steighner’s original musicals. Photo by Julie Raefield-Gobbo.
“For artistry, excellence and dedication in arts education in our schools and community”: That is how a newly created award will honor future dedicated educators in Hood River County. This year’s first recipient of those eloquent accolades however is Hood River Valley High School Music Director Mark Steighner.
“Attempting to consolidate what Mark Steighner has meant to our community in a few words is similar to writing a paragraph summarizing the works of Shakespeare,” said Hood River Middle School Principal Brent Emmons during the March 6 inaugural presentation.
To honor Steighner’s 30 years of excellence in music education and his positive impact on the arts within the community, Columbia Gorge Arts in Education went beyond a one-time recognition and created the new award — henceforth to be presented to future recipients as the “Steighner Arts Education Award.”
“I was completely surprised by the recognition and appreciate it very much. However, I hope that the award didn’t take away from the real stars of the night, the middle school students and their outstanding performance of the musical,” said Steighner. “I am grateful for the amount of support that I have received in the community over the past thirty years and hope to continue to promote the importance of music and the arts for many more years to come.”
Shelley Toon Hight, director of CGAE, was joined by HRV Principal Karen Neitzel, Emmons and HRMS music teacher Rebecca Nederhiser in presenting the beautifully crafted wooden plaque in front of the final audience of the HRMS musical “Three-and-a-Half Wishes,” an original written by Steighner.
“From the moment I started working with Mark Steighner here in Hood River, I was amazed by his professionalism, work ethic and creativity in providing diverse and meaningful music opportunities for the community,” said Nederhiser. “The last two years have been an amazing adventure for us, performing two original musicals featuring our staff and students.”
Steighner wrote both HRMS musicals, and dozens of others — many of which have been produced at HRV and the CAST Theater.
Acknowledging Steighner’s personal musical accomplishments and his ability to inspire high achievement in his students, Toon and the gathered audience applauded Steighner with enthusiasm.
“One quote of Mark’s that has really stuck with me this year, has been the phrase, ‘Don’t wish for it; make it happen,’” said Nederhiser. “Mark is a keen example of this principle, and I think is an inspiration to all of us about learning and growing toward excellence.”
“We hope that Mark’s passion and commitment to generative work will inspire others to serve their community through arts education,” said Toon Hight. “The quote, ‘A great society is created when someone plants trees whose shade they will never sit in’ comes to mind when I think of the impact of Mark’s work.”
Emmons went on to say, “I have been blessed to have been associated with Mark Steighner for the past 16 years. He is a colleague, role model and a friend. Mark’s contribution to our community has impacted tens of thousands of people over the years.”
According to the evening presenters, the future recipients of the Steighner Arts Education Award have inspiring standards to live up to.
By Julie Raefield-Gobbo
Hood River News - March 12, 2013
Give the Gift of the Arts
Will you help us meet our $5000 challenge goal? We recently received a challenge grant from the The James F. & Marion L. Miller Foundation. They will match donations of up to $250. Eligible donations include contributions from new donors or increased donations from prior donors. Your support makes it possible for us to serve the students and teachers in the Gorge. Please make your tax-deductible donation today >>