Still We Arise: Stories of Triumph
Developed for Arts Partners’ academic program year 2016-2017, ARISE, Inc. (African Americans Renewing Interest in Spirituals Ensemble, Inc.) will bring to life the stories and legacies of African American artists and historians from the 1860s to the 1970s. Students will experience a brief performance by the teaching artists and/or ensemble, followed by coaching with members of ARISE to participate in the elements of storytelling, readers theatre and choral music that comprise a complete performance. During the workshops, students will learn about early freedom fighters during slavery, all the way to modern day Civil rights leaders (1860s – 1970s). They will compare and contrast the challenges these determined individuals faced with the students’ own challenges.
Program Structure: Single workshop, One Residency comprised of three Duo Workshops, One optional Performance follows the Residency.
Appropriate for ages: Grade 1, Grade 2, Grade 3, Grade 4, Grade 5, Grade 6, Grade 7, Grade 8
Directed by Shawn Chastain, Fine Arts director for Wichita Public Schools and accompanied by June Faucette-Huff, retired music teacher, the ARISE script writer is Dr. Sharon Hill Cranford, local historian and author. With the power of a 15 – 30 voices, the ensemble uses music to weave the historical perspectives of spirituals with the artistic delivery of oration. ARISE is a traveling treasure trove of American History and Music, able to reach and touch people of all ages as they seek to improve communications and create a more welcoming environment among diverse audiences throughout the state and beyond. The multigenerational and multiethnic ARISE group ensures interactive presentations as they provide residencies and performances, consistently drawing full participation at both. From small to large classroom settings to filling the state capitol rotunda, to overflow crowds of several hundred in churches and auditoriums, ARISE is well received. Through the Arts Partners program, 10 to 15 members of ARISE along with the director and accompanist will come to your school for each performance. 2 to 3 members will come for residencies.
We thoroughly appreciate Arts Partners and the experiences they can provide for our students. The ARISE performance was perfect for us demonstrating cultural diversity as well as an amazing fine arts demonstration. We would highly recommend them to any school looking for a rich experience for their students!
E. Hofer-Holdeman, Mayberry Cultural and Fine Arts Magnet Middle School, Wichita
Board of directors