Expanding Studio Partnerships with Rainey Institute

Celebrating a New Partnership with Rainey Institute 

We are pleased to bring our inquiry-based early childhood programming to Cleveland through a new partnership with Rainey Institute, an anchor arts institution in Cleveland’s Hough neighborhood that has been serving the local community for over a century. 

In November, we started teaching approximately 100 youngsters through programming that will extend over the academic year, supporting Rainey’s early childhood centers and their teachers. Studio Institute works exclusively with the visual arts: drawing, painting, printmaking, collage, and sculpting—which has enabled us to develop a unique expertise in the field of arts education. What’s significant about this new partnership is that we will also be collaborating with Rainey’s staff and faculty to support them in developing an inquiry-based approach in their early childhood performing arts program.  

According to Brandon Lipford, Director of Arts Education at Rainey Institute:

“We are very excited about our new partnership with Studio Institute, and the value-add it will bring to our growing Preschool program. Studio’s creativity, child-centered teaching model, and holistic approach… all align extremely well with Rainey’s vision for arts education and will help to enhance what we provide to our community.  Additionally, working with the Studio team has aided and encouraged our faculty to continue refining their own teaching craft, as well as explore some new methods and ideas!”

Studio Institute Welcomes New Cleveland Artists  

Based on 45 years’ experience of working in schools and communities, we’ve found that professional artists are well suited for teaching art, not only for their strong technical skills, but also because they can model an artist’s way of thinking and working. Students enrolled in Studio programs learn that art is more than skill—it is a process of exploration and discovery. 

We extend a warm welcome to new Studio artists Ashley Krug and Zakiya Erby and Artist Instructional Coach, Trina Parrish, who will be collaborating with the staff at Rainey during the 2022–23 academic year. Ashley is a multi-disciplinary artist who is familiar with Studio Institute programs. In 2017, she served as an Arts Intern in the Public Programs Department at Waterloo Arts in Cleveland.

An artist who understands and values the role of art in revitalizing a community, Zakiya holds a BFA from Kent State and works in multiple mediums. Trina is a Visual Arts Educator skilled in program development, cross-curricular exploration, and community engagement. She will support Studio Institute artists through site visits, artist meetings, and training to ensure successful delivery of the Studio Institute methodology. 

Training for Cleveland Artists and Rainey Institute Staff 

In October, Jamie Mayer, Manager of Regional School and Community Programs, Judith Foster, Manager of Professional Learning, and Jo Beth Ravitz, Studio Artist Instructor, spent four days in Cleveland training the new artists in our methodology and conducting professional learning for the Rainey Institute staff. Participants included their director and coordinator of arts education, program managers for early childhood, dance, and music, along with Rainey Institute teachers. 

Top row (L to R): Studio Institute managers, Jamie Mayer and Judith Foster; Studio artist instructor, Ashley Krug and Rainey dance artist, Devan Hayes; Studio artist instructor, Zakiya Erby; and Studio Artist Instructional Coach Trina Parrish. Bottom row: Rainey artist, Titus Golden; Rainey dance artist Devan Hayes; and Studio artist instructor, Jo Beth Ravitz.

The training focused on artmaking from the perspective of young children and its importance in helping them develop cognitive, social-emotional, and motor skills. Studio staff introduced the key goals and elements of our Creative Start early childhood program for Pre-K artists, including the Three-Part Lesson. Studio lessons consist of three key elements: engagement, work time, and reflection. Lessons are sequential and are based on exploration and discovery.  

Over a four-day period, artists engaged in painting through brush exploration and mixing color, and had opportunities to demonstrate lessons from the painting curriculum. In addition, they learned how to manage art materials, create and maintain classroom Art Centers, exhibit children’s art, use picture books to support art lessons, and effectively partner with classroom teachers.  

In Studio Institute programs, supporting and collaborating with teachers is a key component of making art an indispensable part of education. Classroom teachers participate in the art lesson—often working with artist instructors to reinforce academic subjects.  

Looking Ahead to 2023 

Plans for next year include offering additional explorations in collage, clay and wood sculpture; family workshop events; professional learning with the Pre-K teachers at Rainey; and a final exhibition of student work in May 2023. We look forward to a productive arts education partnership with our new friends at Rainey Institute as we work with the children and families that they serve in Cleveland.