Lorinda Rice, Visual Art Curriculum Specialist at LPS, has worked closely with the Lincoln Arts Council for several years to make our classroom artist residencies as successful and relevant as possible. Lorinda is an invaluable partner in helping to select Title I schools, facilitating partnerships and finding ways to link the residencies meaningfully with curriculum. We sat down with her recently to chat.
LAC: You've been an educator all your life. Tell us about yourself -- why did you become an arts advocate?
LR: I have always enjoyed making art and was lucky enough to live in a home where we were provided materials and space to explore and create. I started my career in Graphic Design. My first tap to consider teaching came from a rural school district near my hometown. That inquiry rocketed me into a career of teaching. Little did I know, that inquiry put me in the place I needed to be, teaching others about the importance of what art can do.
LAC: Why is art so important in children's lives?
LR: Children thrive when they can express. Art is a perfect medium to help them say what sometimes cannot be said in words. It is the space where we can become aware of multiple ways to see and interpret the world. Engaging in making allows students to think in and through materials, discovering and solving problems.
LAC: Do you have a favorite recollection from a LAC residency?
LR: There are so many wonderful memories of LAC residency's, most often it is the expression of wonder on students faces as they listen and watch a visiting artist. I have enjoyed hearing students who are surprised at their ability to create and come up with amazing ideas inspired by the opportunities LAC provides. Our partnership has grown from a serving few schools to over ten in six years.
LAC: The LAC values our partnership with LPS so much. As we move forward grow together, where do you hope we'll be a decade from now?
LR: My hope for 2029 would be that our partnership would bring together entire schools, not just the students coming into the art classroom, a true integrated arts opportunity. A learning event where community partners, multiple teachers, visiting artists and students would collaborate together to show their understanding of a topic or theme. I truly appreciate the work that LAC does to bring students unique learning opportunities. Thank you!