Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Creative Arts Workshops in a Small Church School Setting

The 2019 Creative Festivals Theme was recently announced by the Antiochian Orthodox Archdiocese: 
Antiochian Village: 
Past, Present and Future
“I can do all things through Christ 
who strengthens me.” (Philippians 4:13)

Please note: The Department of Christian Education organizes the Creative Arts Festival which includes art, photography, poetry and creative writing. The Department of Youth organizes the Bible Bowl and the Oratorical Festival—for more information, please click on this link:

Planning for the Creative Festivals in a small church school can be challenging, especially if resources are already stretched and staff are already wearing multiple hats. The key is to be creative with the Creative Festivals! Here are suggestions from a Creative Arts Coordinator at a small church school. 
Joy Wise is Coordinator at St. Thomas Orthodox Church in Snohomish, Washington.

"I made the decision to work on the CAF during Sunday School. I spent time getting familiar with the theme and the lesson plans, which I found invaluable. I was working with middle school aged kids, and spent about three weeks developing the theme with them. I took it in small chunks and encouraged them to relate the theme to what they see/experience in Liturgy. The lesson plans were really great. I looked at the plans for all ages, and ended up using ideas from each of them. I also used a vlog from "Be the Bee." It helped to expand the theme."
Lesson plans for Creative Festivals 2019 for grades PK-12 are available at: 

Gathering Materials for Creative Arts Festival (CAF) Workshops
"I found that it is helpful to have good quality poster board. This is the base of every project. Pay attention to the size requirements of the CAF. I had all kinds of crafting materials: colored pencils, paints, glue, scissors, straight edges, lots of scrapbooking paper and card stock, colored pens, glitter. I gathered it all at sales and with coupons. The main thing is to have the materials displayed in a way that is easy for the students to access. And, it is helpful that the kids have a nice space to work in."
Creative Arts Festival (CAF) Eligibility, Rubrics, Submission Requirements
"Familiarize yourself with the CAF website. Look everything over so that you know the rubrics for each entry. Contact the CAF director for your diocese. Let them know that you will be participating. Ask if you can help them in anyway and if they have any further requirements. You have to think ahead to get ready for shipping the artwork. Make sure that you know the "due date." "

Approach for This School Year
"We are looking at a new year for CAF and a new theme. Since we are a small parish, we have chosen to teach the CAF Theme throughout the year in our Sunday School classes, and will focus on the actual art projects on a quarterly basis. We want to stretch it out in order to develop the theme thoroughly. The theme has so many layers, and we want to make sure that each student has the time to understand the theme and how it relates to Liturgy, to their community, and to themselves. So we will review it throughout the year as we work on the art projects."

Multiple Posters for the 2019 Creative Festivals are available to download and print: 

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