Monday, February 15, 2010

Media Education: The Kennedy Center, DA!, HPT and Hill Country Middle School

When I drove up, it looked for all the world like a variation of Mrs. Frizzle's Magic School Bus. The Kennedy Center for the Arts -- that's right, the one in Washington DC next to the Watergate -- is working with Daimler Financial, Thomas Buses, and ten school districts across the country to carry out its On Location Project. Media instructors travel with school buses specially equipped with media production and editing equipment for three-week projects. They coach students through the hands-on business of producing a documentary about an artist or arts group. Next year those documentaries will be posted at the project website.

Students and teachers at Hill Country Middle School in Eanes Independent School District, just off Walsh Tarleton, were intent on the final phases of the Austin project. I'd learned about it from the Hyde Park Theatre, where Ken Webster had provided the venue for the students to interview their subjects: members of Austin's DA! Theatre Collective.

A local television station send a cameraman/journalist for the press event. Hill Country Middle School principal and Eanes ISD Director of Communications Dale Whitaker took us to drama classrooms. During the last class period of the day we saw middle school students huddling with drama teachers Pam Friday and Sarah Cervants and with Kennedy Center media teaching artists Lorraine Blackwell and Brandon Kramer.

Read more and view images at . . . .

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