Good things start to happen for public school students when teaching artists bring their skills and passion for the arts into the classrooms. Think 360 Arts for Learning, a Colorado non-profit organization, has been doing this work for over 55 years! They deliver quality arts education programs to K-12 students, teachers, families and communities.

Think 360 Delivers Art Education

Think360One of my favorite aspects of Think 360 Arts is their in-school programs and residencies that integrate professional teaching artists into the public schools. Their roster of 65 teaching artists, from a variety of art disciplines, engage students in interactive, fun and creative activities while meeting each school’s curriculum goals and state standards.

Professional development in arts integration is another important spoke in Think 360 Arts “creative wheel.”  Classroom teachers, arts specialists, administrators, and cultural organizations may participate in Creative Learning Labs, half-day workshops on a variety of topics. A school may also request custom-designed programs for their faculty. And coming June 19 -22 is their Institute for Creative Teaching, an in-depth summer institute in collaboration with the University of Denver’s Morgridge School of Education.

“As a Think 360 artist, I am honored to be able to connect with students in Colorado, bringing them the exposure to an artist’s life and work, and to show them that they have an ability within themselves to process, discuss and explore their ideas, frustrations, challenges through art,” says Marie Gibbons, a well-published artist specializing in clay and mixed media.

Teaching Artist and Photographer, Robert Campagna

Robert CampagnaNot long ago I had the pleasure of meeting professional photographer Robert Campagna at his studio in Artworks Loveland, Colorado. Robert is a talented freelance photographer, writer, educator and a member of Think 360’s roster of teaching artists since 2013. He was also a member of the Iowa Arts Council teaching roster from 1983 to 2008.

Over the past 35 years, Robert has taught 450-plus photography workshops, introducing more than 11,000 students to his love of photography. “I view the camera as a tool for exploration, creating and learning,” says Robert Campagna.

Robert’s photography workshops typically consist of a one to three-week intensive series of classes where students learn the basics of photographic composition and printmaking or book publishing. The intensive culminates in a gallery exhibition or book of students’ work, including black and white or color photography using traditional film cameras or digital equipment.

His workshops are custom-designed to accommodate the budget and schedules of the host institution, students’ interests, and the locale. Workshops can be regional studies with an educational theme, or project-oriented, such as creating a calendar or book, postcards or prints for sale by the students.

To Learn More

Think 360 Arts is a community that embraces the arts as a fundamental tool to enhance learning. They are an affiliate of Young Audiences Arts for Learning, the nation’s largest arts-in-education learning network. To book a program, attend trainings, become one of their teaching artists, or to support their efforts, please visit: https://think360arts.org/