Open for Art!

These times are uncertain; our world is changing around us and what was once our norm may not be so in the future. A4L/Miami is committed to doing what is necessary to keep the arts, and the impact they have on teaching and learning, alive and present for you to experience and share, no matter the medium.

While we have a way to go to get all of our programming up and running under these new circumstances, we are happy to share that our ArtWorks Interns, and students of our Lewis Arts Studio, A4L Afterschool and All Kids Included Youth Arts in the Parks programs are meeting virtually and maintaining friendships while making art.

ArtWorks Interns from our Wynwood and Coconut Grove sites have resumed meeting via zoom calls led by their Teaching Artists, Latrice Bruno and Luis Valenzuela, respectively. Both Teaching Artists first took time to assess interns’ needs during this time before moving back to assigning independent work and group sharing times. Interns were excited to see familiar faces and dedicate time to art-making. Interns will continue to be paid for their work, and maintain their schedule of meeting twice per week.

Latrice Bruno’s Wynwood Interns – students of Booker T. Washington Senior High School, Miami Edison Senior High, Miami Jackson Senior High School, Miami Northwestern Senior High School, and William H. Turner Technical Arts High School – have begun studying the play The Spotted Man by Walter Wykes. Interns read scenes aloud during online group conferences, then took time away from the computer to practice writing original scenes, and convene again before the end of their work time to share and critique work done independently.

As their first virtual assignment, Luis Valenzuela tasked Coconut Grove interns – students at Coral Gables Senior High, Miami Senior High School and South Miami Senior High – with creating a small piece in the media of their choice, depicting a positive message, an image of the ways they are spending their time at home, or an indication of the way they’re feeling at the moment.

Lewis Arts Studio students resumed bi-monthly Saturday sessions with Teaching Artists Jose Garcia and Karen Schnell-Chisolm, reuniting with peers with whom they’ve shared a studio throughout most of their middle school years, and continuing to develop visual arts techniques. Sketchbook assignments, group sharing and critiques are back on track.

Magnet High School application results also arrived! Congratulations to Amberly for being accepted to New World School of the Arts; Sofia and Noah for their acceptance to DASH; and Natalia, Paula and Lucas for being accepted to both! A component of the Lewis Arts Studio includes guidance on the preparation of magnet high school applications and portfolios to those students interested in applying.

Lewis Arts Studio students and Teaching Artists will meet again on Saturday, April 18.


A4L Afterschool, A4L’s after school arts and literacy program usually housed at Dr. Carlos J. Finlay Elementary school is set to resume full virtual programming on April 13th – students will receive visual and performing arts classes with A4L Teaching Artists in smaller groups via Zoom. As of April 6th, however, A4L Afterschool students have been meeting with Literacy Coach Ms. Oroll for their scheduled Differentiated Learning time. Ms. Oroll helps small groups of students at a time advance literacy skills through alternative activities and learning methods.


The All Kids Included Youth Arts in the Parks (an inclusive, socially-oriented arts program for children and youth ages 6-17 with and without disabilities) will also be resuming virtually. Students – and parents! – from each park site participated in online sessions with guidance from their Teaching Artist for creative movement, visual arts or animation Groups that were originally learning computer animation will now focus on creating storyboards, sketches and a different kind of animation –using paper and pencil.

In an adjacent effort to bring online content to our All Kids Included families, Creative Movement Teaching Artist Jennifer Puig has begun producing online content for an audience of all abilities. Take a look at her first video on the 4 B’s of Self Control. 


What’s next? Committed to supporting all of our students and our Teaching Artists, A4L is preparing to launch a series of recorded lessons, giving students at our after school partner sites a chance to continue learning through the arts, no matter the distance. This new venture will also give even more children and youth the opportunity to be part of an A4L virtual classroom!