PAInT director creates arts-based videos to connect children and parents during the pandemic

SARASOTA, Fla. (MSV) – The Florida Center for Partnerships in Arts-Integrated Teaching (PAInT) is collaborating with local arts organizations to make arts-themed videos available online to parents and children during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Normally, we would hold summer camps at this time, but because of COVID-19 we had to look at other opportunities to connect with families in order to maintain continuity and provide arts-based learning options to families,” said Denise Davis-Cotton, director of PAInT and chair of Manatee Arts Education Council’s (MAEC) executive committee.

PAInT is based at the University of South Florida’s Sarasota-Manatee campus.

Davis-Cotton, who produced several of the videos, said she hopes to encourage children, parents and grandparents to engage in fun creative projects during the summer recess. The videos are free and available at MAEC’s website, http://maecarts.org/programs/family-arts-connection/.

The first discusses arts integration – a combination of arts and academics – and how the teaching technique promotes learning. Another video explores Juneteenth, the June 19 holiday that commemorates the emancipation of slaves.

Still another, created for the Arts and Cultural Alliance of Sarasota County and based on the Langston Hughes poem “I, too, am American,” explores racism. The video is part of the alliance’s Arts REACH program to bring arts and educational resources to families and students through distance learning. Visit https://sarasotaarts.org/artsreach/.

Davis-Cotton said she enjoys connecting with local arts groups to promote education. She’s created eight videos so far and said she plans to make more.

“Any time you can do something for children to promote learning, count me in,” she said. “These videos are yet another opportunity for children to continue to learn and thrive, and that’s important to me.”

For more about USF Sarasota-Manatee, visit www.usfsm.edu.

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