Arts for Learning Virginia Becomes Coastal Virginia Wolf Trap
Words and Images Courtesy of Coastal Virginia Wolf Trap
Wolf Trap Foundation for the Performing Arts announced today that it will bring its customized arts-based teaching and learning programs to early childhood classrooms in Coastal Virginia through a new partnership with Norfolk-based Arts for Learning Virginia. The partnership creates Coastal Virginia Wolf Trap, Wolf Trap’s newest addition to a growing network of 24 affiliates across the United States and Singapore.
Wolf Trap and its affiliates work collaboratively with schools to deliver vital virtual and in-person classroom residencies, professional development workshops for teachers, and family workshops that serve the unique needs of their communities. The affiliate program is operated under Wolf Trap Institute for Early Learning Through the Arts, a program of Wolf Trap Foundation for the Performing Arts based in Vienna, Virginia. Through Wolf Trap’s education programs, including the work of the Institute and its affiliates, Wolf Trap is able to serve nearly 100,000 children, families, and educators each year.
Coastal Virginia Wolf Trap will supplement the work of Wolf Trap Institute and Greater Richmond Wolf Trap, sponsored by Richmond Performing Arts Alliance, supporting early childhood educators, families, and young children throughout the Commonwealth. Coastal Virginia Wolf Trap will focus on delivering services in Norfolk immediately and will branch out to surrounding communities in successive academic years.
“At Arts for Learning Virginia, our mission is to inspire and engage students in and through the arts,” said Christine Everly, Chief Executive Officer of Arts for Learning Virginia. “We’re proud to have served the Hampton Roads area since 1955 and are always looking for new, creative ways to connect with the community. This partnership with Wolf Trap will allow us to do just that, as we work with young children, families, and early childhood educators to deliver customized professional development strategies and interactive arts experiences that celebrate and create value for our community.”
Coastal Virginia Wolf Trap programs will be designed for children in preschool and kindergarten and educators in the early childhood classroom. Programs will introduce arts-based lessons that illustrate key curricular concepts such as literacy and social-emotional learning, incorporating song, movement, imaginative play, and musical instruments, to equip teachers with skills to infuse active learning through the arts in their instruction with every classroom of children they teach.
“We have long admired the vital role Arts for Learning Virginia has played as a community partner and arts advocate in the Norfolk area, so as we looked for an organization we could align with to extend our
services throughout the state, Arts for Learning Virginia was a natural fit,” said Akua Kouyate-Tate, Vice President of Education at Wolf Trap Foundation for the Performing Arts. “We look forward to working with the Coastal Virginia Wolf Trap team to build on the close partnerships we have developed with early childhood educators in the Tidewater region and collaborate on innovative strategies that both support and inspire their work in the classroom.”
Through professional teaching artists trained in the Wolf Trap model, Wolf Trap Institute delivers customized, in-class professional development to early childhood educators using proven, arts-based strategies that reach across curricula and support development in key areas like language, literacy, math, science, and social-emotional development. Teaching artists engage in multi-day residencies, during which they meet one-on-one with teachers to create custom lesson plans that align with their curriculum objectives. During these residencies teaching artists work in the classroom alongside the teacher to engage students in arts-based learning experiences, slowly allowing the teacher to lead the lesson using these strategies.
For more information about Wolf Trap Institute for Early Learning Through the Arts, visit www.wolftrap.org/education/.
For more information about Arts for Learning Virginia, visit arts4learningva.org/.
Publicity photos from the August 2023 training of the first four A4L teaching artists, plus Arts for Learning logos, can be found here:
Wolf Trap Foundation for the Performing Arts, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, produces and presents a full range of performance and education programs in the Greater Washington area, as well as nationally. Wolf Trap features three performance venues: the outdoor Filene Center and Children’s Theatre-in-the-Woods, both located at Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts, and The Barns at Wolf Trap, located down the road from the national park and adjacent to the Center for Education at Wolf Trap. The 7,028-seat Filene Center is operated in partnership with the National Park Service and annually showcases an extensive array of diverse artists, ranging from pop, country, folk, and blues to classical music, dance, and theatre, as well as multimedia presentations, from May through September. The Barns at Wolf Trap is operated by the Wolf Trap Foundation year-round, and during the summer months is home to the Grammy nominated Wolf Trap Opera, one of America’s outstanding resident ensemble programs for early career opera singers. Wolf Trap’s education programs include the nationally acclaimed Wolf Trap Institute for Early Learning Through the Arts, Children’s Theatre-in-the-Woods, a diverse array of arts education classes, grants, and a nationally recognized internship program.
Arts for Learning Virginia
Young Audiences of Virginia, Inc., doing business as Arts for Learning, is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization based in Norfolk. Now in its 69th year, Arts for Learning’s mission is to inspire and engage students in and through the arts through culturally rich, student-focused performances, workshops, residencies, and virtual learning led by the professional artists on its roster. Arts for Learning’s musicians, dancers, actors, storytellers, and visual artists use their art forms as teaching tools to integrate curriculum concepts with the arts, helping to reach learners who struggle with traditional methods of teaching while exposing students to a great diversity of cultures and traditions. By collaborating with artists, educators, and community organizations, Arts for Learning helps students in pre-K to 12th grades overcome social, cultural, physical, and economic barriers through programs that foster academic success.