“Do you know,” Peter asked, “Why swallows build nests in the eaves of houses? It is to listen to the stories.” - (From Peter Pan, 1911) Sir James Barrie, Scottish dramatist and novelist

Art Residencies

Bring a Family Heirloom Arts residency program to your school! Artist residencies strengthen the community by helping young people realize their creative potential through the arts. Residencies focus on building artistic skills, fostering self-expression and helping students discover, communicate, and understand the world. Art and writing provide a positive way to express feelings and a forum to discuss critical issues. The residency experience offers students the opportunity to create their own narrative images and illustrated books. They will learn how to combine creative writing, reproductions of their family photographs and painting illustrations to explore their family’s stories, traditions and culture. Emphasis is on developing visual art, writing, and historical research skills through exploring positive family role models and celebrating each student’s cultural heritage. The process of creating their handmade books is a wonderful way to honor their families, learn from the wisdom and experiences of the past, and create a bridge between generations.

Check out a collection of our residency highlights and a video of the da Vinci Middle School Migration Stories residency project.

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Cultural Focus

Through Family Heirloom Arts residencies students increase their sense of pride in their cultural heritage and expand their awareness of diverse cultures and traditions through sharing with each other. Our programs also utilize the arts as a bridge across language barriers and are very successful with English Language Learners.

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This was a perfect workshop for my students and aligned beautifully with my school’s philosophy that family is the foundation of student success. I am always searching for ways to bring my students’ families into the classroom, both literally and metaphorically. Lisa’s workshop concept, effective teaching strategies, and art and writing expertise make her an invaluable resource to teachers.

– Jessica Firestone
4th Grade Teacher, Nellie Muir Elementary School

Family Involvement

Family Heirloom Arts programs provide great opportunities for increasing parental involvement in their child’s education through participation in the interview portion of the illustrated family history book process. Students will conduct interviews with their family members, which will be used as the basis for their writing and illustrations. The residencies often culminate with an exhibition for families featuring student work. Family Heirloom Arts curriculum can be adapted for Family Art & Literacy Nights, giving students a chance to create collaborative books with their family members.

The Family Heirloom Art class ignited creativity, imagination, and curiosity in my child. In the past he struggled with insecurity around expressing himself artistically, after having participated in this process he was very proud to share his finished book at the student exhibition.

– Susan
Parent, Oregon College of Art and Craft Youth Program

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Residency Options

All artist-in-residency programs can be taught for grades K-12. The curriculum is adapted based on the students’ skills and developmental levels. Approaches to integrating the residency curriculum with classroom learning are explored with the teachers at the beginning of each residency. Typically each instructional session is approximately one hour long and limited to a group of 30 students per session. A minimum of 3-5 one-hour sessions are recommended per participating class. Residencies are designed to be offered during the school day. Contact us for rates and to discuss options to bring a Family Heirloom Arts Residency to your school. Check out highlights from past residencies.

Family history collage by student

I admire my mom because she is honest and a hard worker. She taught me how to treat others with respect and to offer help when it is needed. Through creating this project I learned more about her life and got to thank her for all that she does for me. I also learned how to tell stories combining pictures and words.

– Sarah
Student, da Vinci Arts Middle School