Tag Archive for Green Street Teaching and Learning Center

Green Street Program Profiled on Local TV Station

Breakdancing is featured in the Channel 3 newscast.

Breakdancing is featured in the Channel 3 newscast.

WFSB-3, Hartford’s CBS affiliate, recently profiled the after school programming at Green Street Arts Center, Wesleyan’s community arts initiative that provides classes, mentoring and extensive arts instruction of all sorts to youths in the community.

“Kids in Middletown can’t wait to get off the bus and meet up with their friends at the Green Street Arts Center. It’s not your average after school program. For the last five years, it’s been one of the city’s hidden gems,” says the program’s host.

The newscast is online.

GSAC, Wesleyan Students Teach Minds in Motion Workshops

At right, Jegadish Gunasagaran ’11, Le Na Dang ’11 and Jacob Litke ‘10 participated a Minds in Motion program March 6 at Snow Elementary School in Middletown. The students taught fifth graders how to compare DNA from five different suspects taken from an imaginary crime scene. The Wesleyan undergraduates are students of Ishita Mukerji, professor of molecular biology and biochemistry.

At right, Jegadish Gunasagaran ’11, Na Le Dang ’11 and Jacob Litke ‘10 participated in a Minds in Motion program March 6 at Snow Elementary School in Middletown. The students taught fifth graders how to compare DNA from five different suspects taken from an imaginary crime scene. The Wesleyan undergraduates are students of Ishita Mukerji, professor of molecular biology and biochemistry.

Green Street Celebrates Winter Solstice with Dance, Art, Music

The Green Street Arts Center hosted a Winter Solstice Celebration Dec. 18 in the Green Street Performance Studio. The event included GSAC's AfterSchool Program talent, open dance floor, music, art and fun.

The Green Street Arts Center (GSAC) hosted a Winter Solstice Celebration Dec. 18 in the Green Street Performance Studio. The event included GSAC’s AfterSchool Program talent, open dance floor, music, art and fun. Above, teaching artist Jocelyn Pleasant gives a drum lesson.

Emily Troll '10 and a GSAC AfterSchool student play piano together.

Emily Troll ’10 gives a GSAC AfterSchool Program student a piano lesson.

AfterSchool Program students received help with their homework.

AfterSchool Program students received help with their homework. Above, a volunteer teacher from Macdonough School helps.

At right, Shawn Hill, desktop support specialist for science and math, taught students photo manipulation software during the event.

At right, Shawn Hill, desktop support specialist for science and math, taught students how to use computer programs. Hill presented a short film at the Solstice.

The Winter Solstice Event was featured in The Hartford Courant on Dec. 19.

Green Street Hosts Feast, Benefit Auction

Proceeds from "A Feast for the Senses" on Feb. 18 will benefit the Green Street Art Center's AfterSchool Arts and Science Program and the GSAC Scholarship Fund.

Proceeds from "A Feast for the Senses" on Feb. 18 will benefit the Green Street Art Center's AfterSchool Arts and Science Program and the GSAC Scholarship Fund.

The Green Street Arts Center celebrates its fifth-year anniversary with an auction, entertainment and world cuisine.

During Green Street’s “A Feast for the Senses,” participants will enjoy live performances, international foods, scrumptious desserts and a silent auction and raffle on 6 to 9 p.m. Feb. 18.  An online auction runs from Jan. 15 to Feb. 15.

“‘A Feast for the Senses’ promises to showcase Green Street’s unique kaleidoscope of offerings with live performances and interactive salsa workshops (bring your dancing shoes), while enjoying a delicious meal,”  says Jessica Carso, GSAC managing director. “Wonderful items and experiences are arriving for our silent auction and raffle every day. We’re sure that everyone is going to find something they just won’t be able to leave without. ”

The auction includes

Aetna Foundation, Lego Supports Green Street Arts Center

The Green Street Arts Center received a $4,000 grant from the Aetna Foundation to support the center’s Afterschool Program. The award will be applied Jan. 1, 2010 through June 30, 2010.

In addition, The Green Street Arts Center received a $3,000 grant from Lego for the art center’s mural project.

Sarah-Jane Ripa ’02 Coordinates Workshops, Classes, Community Programs at Green Street

Sarah-Jane Ripa '02, artistic and education coordinator at Green Street Arts Center, is an advocate of social and personal change through creative communication. She's been actively engaged in the fields of arts administration and development for more than 10 years before coming to Wesleyan this fall.

Sarah-Jane Ripa '02, artistic and education coordinator at Green Street Arts Center, is an advocate of social and personal change through creative communication. She's been actively engaged in the fields of arts administration and development for more than 10 years before coming to Wesleyan this fall.

Q: Sarah-Jane, you came to Wesleyan as the artistic and education coordinator at the Green Street Arts Center in July. Is this a new position?

A: The position was created as part of a restructuring, but primarily replaced the artistic director position. My position is overseen by the Center for Community Partnerships at Wesleyan, and fits wonderfully with the service learning and outreach components of the mission of the university. All of the classes, events, workshops, private lessons and community partnership programs that happen at Green Street come under my position.

Q: Cite some examples of recent artistic- and education-related activities at GSAC that you help coordinate.

A: Green Street offers numerous opportunities for people to engage creatively in five major arts disciplines: Visual, Movement, Literary, Media and Sound. Our Opening Day event in September was a microcosm of what we do throughout the year: our visual arts teachers hung work for display, several dance classes were conducted, community musicians gathered to share music as well as perform, our literary arts group and teachers gathered for a reading and a class, our early childhood music teachers collaborated with parents and children, we conducted tours of our media arts studios and new faculty performed.  All of those offerings happen on a weekly basis at Green Street.

We are also home to an Afterschool Arts Program. The program provides 15 different arts classes over the course of the week, and students attend two class periods per day. Class offerings include Breakdance, Comic Book Creation, Digital Animation, Songwriting and Sound Recording.  We always need Afterschool volunteers. We welcome Wesleyan students to visit us for a class or to meet our Afterschool students during homework time.

We also offer an art and science track for third grade students that utilizes curriculum from the Help Yourself Foundation. We partner with the North End Action Team and other community organizations to present free lifestyle programs each season, and our teaching artists go into classrooms and organizations throughout Middlesex County.

Q: Do Wesleyan students, staff or faculty use Green Street?

A: We have wonderful relationships with a variety of departments and professors at Wesleyan who are interested in engaging the Middletown community in their work. Our Sunday Salon discussion series dedicates one Sunday a month to talks by Wesleyan professors. The next one is scheduled from 2 to 4 p.m. Nov. 22. Our connection to Wesleyan has also helped bring some truly amazing teachers and programs to the community, including the arts and science Afterschool program and Balinese dance.

Q: Do you take class suggestions from the community?

A: We are always looking for suggestions from the community. When our members ask us to start new classes or programs, we do seek out new instructors, but are open to being sought out by artists who are interested in bringing their work to the community through us.

Q: What challenges do you enjoy most about your job?

A: The greatest challenge in my job is the number of people that I need to communicate with to ensure that we are doing the most we can for the community and the organization. It is important to stay closely connected with our neighborhood and campus partners, teachers, students, families and also consistently perform outreach to the public schools, the Wesleyan community, and our Middletown neighbors who haven’t visited us yet. Fortunately, talking to people about Green Street is my favorite part of my job.

Q: What attracted you to GSAC?

A: I was initially attracted to Green Street because it is the place that truly has the capacity to connect the entire Wesleyan community- students, faculty, staff and families – with the Middletown community. Middletown and Wesleyan are assets to each other, and I feel that Green Street Arts Center is the place where those assets are openly and fruitfully shared.

Q: You graduated from Wesleyan in 2002 with a double major in music and history. How did your Wesleyan degrees help prepare you for a career in arts administration/development?

A: I had the opportunity to manage the orchestra for three years, worked for the Center for the Arts in a number of positions, and had the freedom to arrange and play in performances for myself and other students and graduate students. All the while, I was taking courses that helped me develop an intellectual life for myself that has enriched everything I have done since. I would then say that my education, rather than my degree, has prepared me for my current career, and anything else I might choose to do in life.

Q: What are your hobbies and interests? Where are you from?

A: I am actively involved in efforts to create awareness about local foods and their impact on individual and collective health. I am an advocate for lifelong learning, and am currently enrolled in the GLSP program at Wesleyan and a member of the Middletown Scottish Country Dance class – a well-kept secret of Middletown that I only recently discovered.

I am originally from Sterling, Mass., which also was home to Mary of Little Lamb fame. My husband, Aaron Paige ’04, is currently a Ph.D candidate in the in the Ethnomusicology program at Wesleyan.

Mural Completed on Green Street

A mural on Middletown's Green Street was completed and unveiled at the Green Street Arts Center's 5th Annual Arts Festival June 13.

A mural on Middletown's Green Street was completed and unveiled at the Green Street Arts Center's 5th Annual Arts Festival June 13.

Led by mural artist Marela Zacarias (center), the project’s participants are a diverse group of Middletown children, their families, professional artists, Wesleyan students, and other community members.

Led by mural artist Marela Zacarias (center), the project’s participants are a diverse group of Middletown children, their families, professional artists, Wesleyan students, and other community members.

Children work on sections of the mural inside the GSAC.

Children work on sections of the mural inside the GSAC.

Students trace sections of the mural.

Students trace sections of the mural.

The Green Street Arts Center received a grant worth $10,000 from Citizens Bank and the Citizens Bank Foundation to support the project.

The Green Street Arts Center received a grant worth $10,000 from Citizens Bank and the Citizens Bank Foundation to support the project. The mural took 18 months to create.

Photos submitted by the Green Street Arts Center.

North End Nights Top Story in Middletown Press

Wesleyan’s Green Street Art Center was the lead story in the July 9 issue of The Middletown Press. The article featured the GSAC’s North End Nights, series of four consecutive Thursday evenings that feature free concerts and arts workshops. North End Nights will continue for the next three Thursdays. On July 16, an African drumming workshop at Green Street Arts Center at 5:30 p.m. will precede a concert in the herb garden featuring the Wesleyan African Drummers. Roslyn Carrier-Brault, administrative assistant in the Chemistry Department, is a photojournalism teacher for the program and is quoted in the article.

Wesleyan Participates in Mural Project with Local Youth

Green Street Arts Center students are working on designs for the community mural. (Photo courtesy of Marela Zacarias)

Green Street Arts Center students are working on designs for the community mural. (Photo courtesy of Marela Zacarias)

The Green Street Arts Center is launching the Green Street Community Mural Project, an 18 month-long art program that will culminate in a large public mural, to be installed in the spring of 2009 on the corner of Main and Green Streets in the North End of Middletown.

Led by mural artist Marela Zacarias, the project’s participants are a diverse group of Middletown children, their families, professional artists, Wesleyan students, and other community members. A core group of students in Green Street’s Afterschool Program will work with the artists on the project regularly.

The primary goal of the Green Street Community Mural Project will be obvious to every driver and pedestrian who passes Green Street.

“This mural will brighten Main Street with the colorful art of our students,” says Zacarias. “It will also help to raise awareness of the wonderful activities that the Green Arts Center offers for the Middletown community.”

The Green Street Community Mural Project is funded by a $10,000 grant