Thursday, October 21, 2010

Going Local

For most of my career as a teaching artist I have had to travel hundreds of miles to get to work.  I'd spend a lovely week in some beautiful part of North Carolina, South Carolina or Kentucky and then drive home.  I loved the opportunity to work with all kinds of kids, but inevitably I'd miss my own bed and let's not even mention doing insane things to stay awake on the drive home after a busy week away (wasabi peas, anyone?).  Even now, having temporarily limited my travel closer to my current home, I usually 'only' go as far as the north side of Indianapolis and back in a day, and that's still three hours round trip from Bloomington, IN.

I have performed in Bloomington, but I have never worked in my capacity as a teaching artist here.  It is a fabulous town, full of arts and culture of all kinds with the Lotus World Music and Arts Festival being one of my favorites.  Indiana University is also a mecca for arts and culture, including the Jacobs School of Music and programs like the Department of Folklore and Ethnomusicology.  If you go hear to a show headlined by a 'local' musician, chances are that person has a thriving regional or national career, or is good enough to be considered for one.  Even without considering all this talent, Bloomington is truly a caring, involved and creative community. 

So, I do a lot of driving for work, but now?  Now I have a chance to reduce my carbon footprint and make a contribution to my own community with the receipt of a grant from....

Indiana University's ArtsWeek!  This year's theme is ArtsTeach and I'm completely honored and excited to have been one of the projects chosen for the 2011 ArtsWeek celebration.  In February, I'll get to drive approximately FOUR MINUTES down the street to Templeton Elementary School.  And when I'm done with my work, I'll drive four minutes back home.  Amazing.

I realize I probably sound more excited about the reduction of my commute than anything else, but I should assure you that I am thrilled beyond words to be able to bring Math in Your Feet into my own community.  In my collaboration with Templeton Elementary School, and their PE teacher Monica Chapin, we'll be offering a week-long residency, a family night focused on creative problem solving, and a no-holds barred traditional American music and dance performance to the Templeton ES community.  MY community.  I'll get to work with kids I have probably seen playing at Bryan Park after school, or in the audiences at the Farmers' Market when I busk there in the summer, or playing basketball at the Y, or whose teachers have taken a Zumba class from me.  There truly is no place like home and I, for one, am thrilled at this opportunity.  Thanks IU ArtsWeek!

1 comment:

  1. Congratulations Malke!! Wonderful manifestation at work. :)


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