ABS Thursday Notes- March 28, 2019

Thursday Notes                           

Published for the Arts Based School Community                               March 28, 2019




How We Do It and Why

By Mary Siebert

“I am still learning.” – Michelangelo


Third grade students study the Italian Renaissance as part of an exploration of innovation and its power to initiate change. They study the solar system and body systems through the art of Leonardo DaVinci, who helped create breakthroughs in those scientific fields. The artist and his work are introduced in both art and the classroom. Italy is located on a world map; Leonardo’s biography is explored. Students study Leonardo’s scientific precision in drawing the muscular and skeletal systems. They sing the music of Monteverdi, superstar composer of the late Renaissance, with new lyrics detailing the functions of the muscular system. Renaissance banners are created in art class, along with the Leonardo studies. In dance, they posture and traditional movements of Renaissance dance are studied for grand entrance, a short performance dance, and a celebratory romp, all to be performed at a “Renaissance Spectacle” next week.

As a culminating activity, we present an “Intermezzo” (also known as an “Intermedio.”) During the Italian Renaissance, exquisite, miniature presentations were developed to be performed between the acts of a play. These “Intermezzi” became more popular than the plays, themselves, and eventually gave birth to opera. Intermezzi were lavishly produced portrayals of Greek myths and other stories, in which performers posed progressive scenes in fluid tableaux. Leonardo DaVinci designed elaborate stage mechanisms for the Medici family’s Intermezzi, dazzling the wealthy at celebratory events.

We have created an Intermezzo of the Greek myth “Jason and the Golden Fleece,” taking advantage of our new theater with beautiful new sets designed and painted by Elizabeth Gledhill, with additional set pieces and props by Ms. Christian. The story, pre-recorded last year by sound engineer/composer Bill Stevens (also an ABS dad,) at Ovation Sound, is played during the pantomime. All third-grade students observed filmed re-creations of Renaissance Intermezzi and are working with Ms. Heidi on gesture and facial expression as isolated elements of acting.

This is made possible by the ongoing, detailed cooperation of classroom and specialist teachers. No traditional textbook can hope to compare to this constellation of connections! The result is summed up for me by a comment by a 3rd Grader. “Ms. Siebert,” he said, “I think this school is a Renaissance school.” I asked him why. “Because,” he answered, “we learn about things by using everything. Math, science, reading, and all of the arts.”


3rd Grade Performances of “Renaissance Spectacles” Next Week:

All performances are 12noon at the Alex Ewing Theater at ABS

Quintal- Tuesday, April 2

Lard– Wednesday, April 3

Campbell– Thursday, April 4


8th Grade goes to Carowinds TOMORROW!

8th Grade Students should arrive at school between 7:10 and 7:20 a.m. and will arrive back at ABS by 6:45p.m.


7th Grade Brundibar Performance Tonight at 7:00 pm

The performance, which lasts about 1/2 hour, will be tonight at 7:00 pm, at First Presbyterian Church’s Worship Center theater, 200 N. Cherry Street (between Cherry and Marshall.) Parking is plentiful and is free tonight in the big lot across 2nd Street. Students who wear mics arrive 6:00. All other students arrive at 6:30.


Community Creates – Saturday, May 4th!


This year marks the 11th year of The Arts Based School’s Community Creates.  While many of you have attended in years past, there are lots of folks in the ABS Community that still aren’t quite sure what this event is all about.  Is it a party?  Is it a fundraiser?  Is everyone invited?  Yes, yes and YES!


Community Creates is a fabulous adult only party.  For one evening, our ABS Middle School building and courtyard are transformed into a chic, hip art gallery full of unique artwork created for this event.  Local artists you love, and new ones you don’t know yet, come together to provide pieces for our 100 for $100 drawing, silent auction and live auction.  Dinner is provided by our friends at The Porch & Alma Mexicana.  It’s an evening you don’t want to miss!


Community Creates is a vital fundraiser for ABS.  ABS deeply arts-based, experiential learning includes visits and residences from highly accomplished professionals in visual, performing and literary arts (think Mr. Bill, Mr. Bob, Diana Greene & Thao Nguyen just to name a few).  Funds raised from Community Creates help us pay for this artists-in-residence program.  The relationships between our students and these local artists inspire and instruct us, while helping create and solidify meaningful bonds within the community.


Everyone is invited to Community Creates! 

Community Creates draws a mix of ABS parents, staff, Board members, artists and many people throughout the community that attend for the chance to walk away with some fantastic artwork, or at the very least, have a fabulous evening out!  Tickets are $50 in advance and $60 at the door and are available now by visiting Eventbrite at  https://www.eventbrite.com/e/community-creates-2019-tickets-57046355184?aff=erelexpmlt.


Interested in getting involved?  Great!  There are several ways to get involved in the action!

  • Become a sponsor– A variety of sponsorship levels are available.  Take a look at the attached document for more details.  It’s a great way to get exposure to a broad audience.
  • Submit artwork– Interested in sharing your artistic skills?  Contact Shannon Wright (thewrights@triad.rr.com) for more information on submitting a piece.
  • Volunteer– It takes a village!  Contact Robin Hollis (rhollis@artsbasedschool.com) if you’d like to volunteer.

In the coming weeks we will be highlighting some of our artists, leaders and sponsors right here in Thursday Notes.  Get your tickets now and we look forward to seeing  YOU on Saturday, May 4th at Community Creates!


Help Wanted

It usually starts with a husky voice and hacking cough on an early morning call.   It’s a teacher calling to say that she can’t make it to school today.  That’s when we call in a super sub!  Many of our greatest subs are parents of our students who have a background in teaching or experience working with young children.  If you have these special qualities and would enjoy spending the day with twenty joyful, exuberant, and sometimes surprising students, please email Stephanie LeFever at slefever@artsbasedschool.com with your contact information to be included on the sub list!  Teaching experience is required.


ABS Summer Camps!

ABS is excited to offer Summer Camps this June and July! Join ABS staff on adventures that explore science, arts, movement, magic, and more! All summer camps will run from 9am to 2pm Monday to Friday. Campers should bring a lunch to camp each day. Camps will be filled on a first come, first served basis. Payment is due at the time of registration.   Camp registration is currently open to ABS students only and filling up quickly.   See more information and registration at ABS Summer Camps

Summer Camp Offering added

Magic Camp!

Campers will learn how to perform 20 different magic tricks. ( Each camper will receive over $150 in magic tricks to keep!)

These cool tricks include:

  • Turn blank paper into a real dollar bill
  • Make silks vanish from their hands
  • Transform a red ball to a black square
  • Make their magic wand appear out of thin air
  • And many more!

At the end of the week, campers will perform their magic tricks to amaze and amuse their friends and family.  July 8-12

Age range: Rising 3rd – 8th graders