PAInT Teaching Artists

Karen Bell, Circus Arts Conservatory’s (CAC) Outreach and Education Program and Robin Eurich, teaching artist, bring Circus Science to students in a one-of-a-kind education program, which takes learning in the classroom to a new level. CAC teaching artists go into Sarasota and Manatee County schools to engage students in key academic subjects, including science, engineering, language arts, and theater. These inquiry-based lessons were developed to Florida state standards with FSA impact/awareness/results.

Designed to include students who have difficulty responding to other traditional forms of instruction, the education program introduces students of all learning levels and styles to this unique curriculum. Measurements to date demonstrate consistent benefits to retention rates and test outcomes.

CAC follows the Kennedy Center arts integration protocol because it is known that “when students learn through Arts Integration, they are engaged in experiences in which they actively build and demonstrate their understanding of both the art form and the other curriculum area.” CAC impacts more than 2000 students throughout the community. The CAC education curriculum captures students’ interests and illustrates that learning can be fun.

Taking place in local K-8 public schools, the program helps academics come alive! For example, imagine the engaged enthusiasm when students learn and experience physics utilizing the circus art of juggling (Newton’s Law) and wire walking (center of balance and gravity). Students experience a curriculum rich in Florida’s circus history, and they are introduced to other art forms such as theater, music, and dance all of which are closely interwoven with the circus. Beyond the academic base, the importance of discipline, teambuilding, trust, and self-confidence is stressed throughout the lesson plans.

Larry Engler of Poko Puppets moved to Sarasota after over 50 years of doing puppetry in education in the northeast. He taught 6 credit masters of education courses on using puppetry in education for Adelphi University in Garden City, NY. Larry is the co-author of the award winning book Making Puppets Come Alive, now in its 40th year of publication. This is one of the few books on puppetry skills specifically designed for educators. He is also a graduate of the Kennedy Center’s Partners in Education Program and was accepted onto their national roster of teaching artists.

“Puppetry in the Curriculum: More Than Play” is the name of the workshop that he developed with the Kennedy Center and the State Theatre of New Jersey. This is a three–hour workshop developed for educators and has three components; making a simple puppet, bringing the puppet to life, and integrating puppetry into the curriculum.

In addition, Larry has conducted puppetry workshops all over the world, including three tours for the U.S. Information Service (India, Honduras, Israel), in Singapore, The United Kingdom,  at The Kennedy Center, The Wang Center, New York University, for The NY City Board of Education, CT Commission on Culture, Hartford Performs, and at hundreds of other venues in almost every state.