Spotlight: Framingham Schools Bring the Arts to Their Students’ Homes

The past two months have been difficult for students across the Commonwealth; as schools shut down due to the public health emergency, classes were moved online, proms were cancelled, and important milestones now must be celebrated in the safety of living rooms. For arts students and educators, the transition has been particularly difficult, as the in-person interactions that make arts and performance classes so rich now must be conducted through a screen. But despite these difficulties, some educators are going above and beyond to give their students the arts education they deserve.

In Framingham Public Schools, learning has gone remote like every other district across Massachusetts. But under the leadership of Donna Wresinski, the Fine and Performing Arts Department has set up an exciting initiative for its students to make the best of their new virtual situation. Each week, students and teachers are treated to an online workshop with a celebrity professional in the field, featuring interactive participation and in-depth Q&As. The staff is tapping into every connection they have to bring their students one-of-a-kind opportunities, even if they can’t be there in-person. Actors, singers, dancers, agents– students will meet them all! 

And to keep their creative gears going, the department has devised a new challenge for their students and students across the Massachusetts Educational Theater Guild. Entitled the METG 40 to 1 Challenge, student companies are encouraged to take their 40 minute festival pieces, shave them down to a single minute, and share them with the world. Framingham launched the initiative with their 1 minute rendition of Mary Zimmerman’s Argonautika, and five more schools are up next for the challenge.

The arts are a vital part of our students’ education, and the difficulties caused by pandemic make it very easy for them to be left behind. But now more than ever, our students need the joy, expression, and release the arts provide. We at MASSCreative celebrate the outstanding efforts of Framingham Public Schools Fine and Performing Arts Department to keep the arts in their students’ lives and develop innovative opportunities to learn and be creative. Schools may be closed, but arts education continues on vibrantly.

Read more about the Initiative in the Framingham Source

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