For the past several weeks, I have had the pleasure of serving as a Guest Artist with the Opera for All program. My responsibility has been to prepare backdrops for the students' productions as well as assisting them on their Art Days. Art Days consisted of painting the 9 x 9-feet backdrops for each classroom.
I had the fortune of assisting my fellow Teaching Artists at Langford, Whistler, Healy, Disney II Prep, and McAuliffe elementary schools. The total number of backdrops that I helped prepare was 17! Like each classroom of students, each backdrop was different and unique. I had an especially fulfilling time at the Southside schools (i.e. Langford and Whistler). As a Black (African-American) male, I believe it was important and impactful for these primarily Black students to have an Art instructor that looked like them and understood their particular backgrounds. It was also fulfilling to be able to provide some exposure to Art in schools where Visual Art is not provided. Overall, my time as a Teaching Artist with COT has been rewarding on a personal and professional level.