BALTIMORE COUNTY — Baltimore County Public Schools has been awarded 10 artist-in-residence grants for the 2019-2020 school year. These grants are presented by the Baltimore County Executive and Baltimore County Council based on recommendations from the Baltimore County Commission on Arts and Sciences.

“These grants offer our students more opportunities to work alongside prominent local artists,” said Sherri Fisher, coordinator of the Office of Visual Arts. “We deeply appreciate our visual arts teachers for taking the extra time to seek out and make possible these amazing opportunities to engage our young artists and our communities.”

All but one of the artist-in-residence grants are for $1,000 each and for visual arts projects. The remaining $5,000 grant will support a dance artist residency focused on nurturing more male dancers.

“With the grant, we work with Vincent Thomas, an associate professor of dance at Towson University, and founder of VTDance, to uplift all students, but especially male students, through movement, through the medium of dance,” said Sonia Synkowski, dance resource teacher. Synkowski describes Thomas as “masterful in teaching dance in a way that is accessible for male students.”

From January – June 2020, Thomas will teach master classes at several schools. The classes will be offered to male dance students and other male students who might be interested or might benefit. In March, two field trips are offered – one for middle school and one for high school – during which male BCPS students take a Movement Skills for Dance class on Towson University’s campus, tour the campus, and eat lunch with university students and faculty. Finally, Thomas directs a BCPS Men’s Ensemble, which rehearses with him weekly and performs at BCPS events and with his dance company.

Some of the visual arts grant projects include:

Shady Spring Elementary School students will work with mural artist Pablo M Machioli to illustrate their school mission, “Who can I lift up today?”

Artist Richard Holt will visit Patapsco High School & Center for the Arts for a series of workshops demonstrating technique, as students produce their own figurative artworks and engage in critique and exhibit of the figures.

Baltimore artist Larry Poncho Brown will make a presentation to Dogwood Elementary School’s Grade 5 classes to discuss growing up in Baltimore, his family, education, background, and the pitfalls and successes of being an artist/entrepreneur.

Working with Diane Macklin, Grade 6 students at Franklin Middle School will use performance and traditional storytelling to generate ideas for their visual personal narrative artworks.